Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Pepepochi brings out the adventurous side of me.

Watercolour on 300gsm 140lb (9x12in)
Those that read this blog will know that I've mentioned before that I am totally addicted to Julia Kay's Portrait Party on Flickr.

In a previous post  (Done to Death)  I mentioned how I wish to improve my work and in this watercolour painting I have tried to bear in mind my words, i.e. loose washes, minimum layering, dropping in other colours while still wet, and to find a good balance between detail and impression.

I am fairly pleased with the work. Some of it's faults have been to the advantage of the finished work, like oversized eyes and watercolour not taking so well to parts of the paper where my hand has lain. A new technique I am trying is to add reflected colour as in the background here.

Isn't it lovely to have this medium at our disposal, to delve into and to explore it's capabilities. Watercolour is just so ..... amazing!


  1. So that's why I keep getting patches of paper that won't take my watercolour! Thanks Frank - You may have just solved one of my recurring head-scratchers!
    One thing I agree with you about and have tried to take in, is the fact that if art is photographic, it can be less interesting to look at. When it comes to portraits, I think both ways work really well, take Crystal Cooks incredibly beautiful work for example. But when it comes to objects, for me it can be more interesting to view something more impressionistic. I was looking at an incredible oil painting the other day - one by an artist so talented, that I couldn't believe it wasn't a photograph. But, because of this, when all said and done, it looked like a photograph of a bowl of onions - something perhaps not of much interest. But - when browsing through Jane Minters wonderful blog, I came across a very loosely done, watercolour sketch of two onions - They were a real delight to look at and so much more interesting for me than the oil! It's a style of art I love to look at. I have only just taken all of this in and it's a revelation that I hope will improve my own work from here on. I agree and understand now that less layers, and transparent washes are so much more beautiful.
    I like this portrait Frank, I think it works really well. You definitely have a style of your own (something I haven't yet found) and I would recognise it as one of yours without the signature. The only thing I can't quite tell is wether he is wearing a hat or if that's his hair, but I particularly love the shirt and the necklace and I agree the reflective colours work well :0)

  2. @Sandra - my skin tends to get a little dryer as I age, so I use moisteriser which, even though I wash my hands before painting, traces get on the paper.
    I think that when some of the 'old masters' painted portraits with such perfect detail, because they are so perfect, they look so stunning. If our attempts at perfection don't match up to this, it won't be stunning. This I think is where the impressionists scored, by suggestion rather than perfection.
    This painting has been compared by some of my critics to the work of David Hockney, which flatters me and I am currently looking into some of his work. When you watch him at work in the videos, it's just incredible - especially the scale of it.
    I like the BLOUSE too! And it's HER hair, not a hat!

  3. Very nicely done Frank. The clean fresh colours sparkle - like her eyes.

  4. The eyes are intense. I love the use of colour in this. the red Hues really makes it pop.

  5. Thanks SKIZO, Alice and Melanie, even the shortest of comments let me know how I'm doing and are very much appreciated.

    @Sandra, LOL, don't take your eye off the ball for a second!

  6. Beautiful portrait. You seem to have captured something of the person's character. Not just a copy of a face.

  7. Thanks Angela, the source photo was very dark with heavy shading to the point of there being no detail on the left side of the face. I find it very hard to do dark shading with watercolour - this is something I really need to address.

  8. I think you did a great job of this one; you have reason to be pleased.

  9. Thanks Raena, this is larger than I normally do JK portraits, which initially caused me a few problems drawing larger than source, but I got a reasonable likeness in the end.

  10. I think my first comment attempt was spit out...
    so let me try again.

    I love your fresh approach and the In-Your-Face poses and expressions. And your profile image is delightful-- you strike me as having a wicked and delicious sense of homour.

  11. Thanks for your comments r garriott, I think my sense of humour sometimes embarrasses people, especially my wife!