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Old 10-24-2003, 01:32 PM
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jocelynsart jocelynsart is offline
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Blues Mama Watercolour Portrait Demo

While I was doing the skin demo earlier, I had another WC member come up with a suggestion of doing a demo on darker skin tones and I thought it was a great idea! So, I complied. I believe it was al 22 who asked.
I was thinking that I don't get the privilege of being asked to paint dark skinned persons that often for my commissions, unfortunately, and was craving working in those rich tones for a change.
This reference image was provided by Dana Design. Thanks!
Joss
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Old 10-24-2003, 01:39 PM
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jocelynsart jocelynsart is offline
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Palette

I use the same palette for any medium I work in. It is all a matter of using more of certain colours and less of others, depending on what I am painting, and not changing pigments. Of course, I don't use Naples Yellow in watercolour as it is a white containing pigment therefore very opaque. I do, however, use Cobalt blue (also white containing) as I find this colour extremely versatile for dropping in shots of electric shadows or reflections. It is also a great toning down or greying down colour when used thinnly over areas of colour that you want to tone down the vibrancey of or recede things in the background in landscapes. It also works well in shadows.
My colours are: Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Viridian Green and the Cobalt. I don't use pure black, preferring to mix and let my darks blend while working. I find that they are richer darks this way. Pure tube black seems to not balance with the rest of my palette. If you like using black and adding colour to it for darks, by all means continue. People do what they like and should not let others tell them how and what to and not to use. This is just info on how I work and if it is of use, then great! If not, then not to worry.
I also do not prefer to use masking fluids or mediums so I cannot demonstrate that at all. I am used to leaving my whites and scrubbing back if needed, from them. I also don't ever want to have to use white paint as it stands out as a different medium to me, on my work, the few times I have had to use it to correct a highlight in an eye, etc. Again, these are not rules. Continue to do what works for yourself.
I don't bother rinsing my palette off in between paintings as you can see here. It is another white ceramic dinner plate.
You can see the little drops of colour in the center area. I have the cobalt off to the side and have not replenished it for awhile. You can let watercolour dry thank goodness, then come back anytime and use it.
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Last edited by jocelynsart : 10-24-2003 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 10-24-2003, 01:55 PM
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My Brushes

Here are the 3 brushes I tend to always use. The center is a Stevenson's pure sable brush I have had since the age of 20 It was told to me to be a worthwhile investment and the only brush I would ever need to use, in most cases. It came to a tiny point for detail and it was fat as it got to the base, for large areas. Basically, as long as I kept it like that by caring for it, it would last a lifetime. You just rinse and bring it to a point with your fingers or with your mouth. I paid $50, on sale, in 1986. It was my little gift to myself the second year of college. Well, my mother used it for painting ceramic garden statues about 3 or 4 yrs later and it wrecked it. It never came to a point again. To buy this now would be over $100.00, probably about $120.00-$150.00. But, it still works amazingly for backgrounds and larger areas. It leaves great shapes and blends and drags back colour well. So, that tells me that one expensive brush is definately worth buying, considering it works better than some cheaper brushes I have bought, when they are new even.
The blue brush is my main painting brush. It is a Windsor Newton Cotman #6 round. It is not expensive, maybe around $14? The small brush is a #1 that I use rarely, only for tiny details I cannot get to with the other brush. All depends on the size of the portrait or the people I am painting in a painting.
Oh, paper. I used to work on Strathmore cold press illustration board. Basically, watercolour paper adhered to a backing. It is less toothy than watercolour paper though. I loved it. Duraable and some tooth plus no curling or buckling to worry over. It also allows wonderfully smooth blending to watercolour. I now use Aquarelle, 300lb. I am not sure if this is by Arches or not. The ones labelled Arches are great papers, Arches makes wonderful paper, but I find that I cannot use it the way I like. I tend to love to remove pigment or scrub back pigment, for highlights. Arches seems to take the pigment more permanently right away, then I like. I scrub back usually before the area is completely dry and in doing so over and over, can eat some papers and make them come apart and cause little surface fuzz. Strathmore paper and board does nto do this at all. Bainbridge I find does for sure (an illustration board). Crescent Board, although a beautiful surface, discolours over a few years.
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Last edited by jocelynsart : 10-24-2003 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 10-25-2003, 03:38 AM
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Great info looking forward to seeing more...
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Old 10-25-2003, 10:35 AM
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Cool

Looking forward to your demo, Joss.
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Old 10-25-2003, 10:53 AM
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This is very interesting Joss, I'm also looking forward to seeing more....
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Old 10-25-2003, 11:52 AM
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The palette alone...

I looked at the image of your palette an thought:
- Aaah, interesting interpretation.
I even saw the face of Blues Mama somewhere in the middle.

No more beer today, thanks.

Jan
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Old 10-26-2003, 12:38 AM
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Darn! I wish you were doing this in oil. I'm still learning how to mix color for my oil portraits and would love to know which colors to use.

Guess I'll have to go and see Harry.
Dana

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Old 10-30-2003, 08:44 AM
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Hi..All:
Sorry!!!!!!
Spacebar..on..my..keyboard..went.
Will..be..back..on..Tomorrow.
Sorry,got..rid..of..my..oils..Dana.
Kids..and..hubby..complained..too..much.
Also,they..have..always..made..my..gums..and..teet h..ache.
Very..weird.
Joss
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Old 10-30-2003, 12:17 PM
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looking forward to the rest of the demo

I am certain it will be informative as always.

Andrew
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:20 AM
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Hi all: OK, was not lazy last night and put our new keyboard on.
Here is the first progress.
I am dropping in the defining shapes and contours loosely. Just using the medium size blue round brush.
My colours are yellow ochre with a hint of crimson off and on. I have a little mix of purples that I can grab from already too. I have introduced the purples in some of the shadow and dark detail areas so far, but very subtle so as not to go too dark. I don't want to go too fast and wreck the little sparkling highlights around either.
Dropped in pretty well pure ultramarine and some crimson to start establishing the background balance and colour. I want a slightly vibrant deep background to suggest stage lighting and drama for her and to make the warm tones in her face pop out.
Not workign too wet and dragging pretty dryish colour around where wanted. Leaving whites.
Joss
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:38 AM
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WOW, this is going to be fabulous! THanks for the WIP too! When this is done it's going to be an awesome portrait.
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:39 AM
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Joss...this is so helpful. ..two elementary questions---Do you wet your paper? Is your paper hot or cold press? Looking forward to folowing this...
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:54 AM
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looking great so far Joss!!

I am going to study this demo more carefully

fascinating watching you work

em
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:55 AM
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Hi Mary: No, I never pre-wet my paper. Sometimes my first layer leaves it a bit damp and I can then make use of some great controlled bleeding where wanted though, on my second layers..
It is coldpress. Hotpress has no tooth to it.
I use 300lb most often but this is 140lb. Being small and because I don't work real wet makes using 140lb ok. If I see any slight buckling, I leave the area till it is drier.
Ok, I forgot to go over paper preparation that I use. I always soak my piece in the tub for 5 mins. I then staple gun it on and wait till it is dry. You don't really have to soak 300 lb paper but I do anyway.
At the end, I cut my image out leaving a good 2" or so border around it for matting and framing.
Joss
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