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Old 10-14-2006, 09:28 PM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Stunning work Jocelyn,
You make wc look so easy (and with portraits too).
I can see your consistent style through multiple mediums and it’s amazing.
Thanks for showing your process in such detail here.
Jerome
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:35 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

You are welcome and thank you for the wonderful compliment Jerome.

I have a bit more little finnicky things to do with this before I will call it done for sure. I'll post the last progress shot in here though.

Thanks, Johnnie, for granting me permission to do this WIP from your original thread. I hope it did help you. Here is the link for the original thread that prompted this WIP thread.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=374245

Jocelyn

Last edited by jocelynsart : 10-15-2006 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:53 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Hi.

Oh you are most welcome.. I feel very fortunate that you could accomadate me in my dilema.. lol.. I was sure going in the wrong direction as far as my method of trying to paint her.. Way wrong .

I just read the bottom of the inquiry text and saw that you want ed a larger pic of the original.. So here it is.. Litte late I guess.

Johnnie

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Old 10-15-2006, 10:01 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

No problem Johnnie. The one I had printed out had all those pixelly square thingys on it. I don't really know too much about file sizes, printers and all that really. I don't really always need perfect reference pics. This picture looks like it would have been higher res and I can see the neck and such way more clearly, but oh well. My printer is printing green only although my hubby changed the inks. He has no time right now to look at it so I don't want to bug him about it. I sent the jpgs to Black's to get prints made there. I'll get this one printed today and can go by it to do the finishing touches then.
Thanks Johnnie; Jocelyn
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:05 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Hi ..

Not sure if I sent you my address or not.. I dont keep emails.. I just delete them as I go..

Sending you pm with address.

Johnnie
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:12 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Wonderful painting! I'm so envious of your ability to do it in watercolours!
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:16 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Hi Deepat. Give a portrait a shot with wc, you'll be surprised how much more easy they are then the more opaque mediums. You can accomplish detail and modelling in a few layers of pigment.

Thanks Johnnie, got it :-) I don't think you had given me your address yet. I think you did mention a long time ago what city in Ont you were in though, so I did recall that.

Jocelyn
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Old 10-16-2006, 04:44 PM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Hi All: Sorry, I just want to bring this thread back up to add the final portrait.

I usually find, with light hair, that I end up breaking out the light pencil crayons. This is no exception. I try hard to not have to do this but I find 80%of the time, the final little cp strokes of hair seems to really work well and are needed. They are needed becasue I never seem to leave exactly the amount of white I want and also becasue they do tend to add dimension and more reality to the hair anyway.

I used a wc pencil crayon in a light ochre and a cream coloured pencil crayon. I tend to allow the strokes to blend as the light one looks too stark over the darks. I think you can see where I've enhanced the lights and highlights with it.

In the case of the hair, because the background is lighter in my portrait than the greens of the foliage causes the background to be in the reference, my loose hairs over the bg are mid toned as opposed to white or positives as they are in the reference (see the top of her hair in the ref). I do have light pieces over darker background areas though, as in the background on our left and over her shadowed areas in the hair. These are highlighted pieces that light has caught and bounced back off of.

I also have noted that the face always appears more elongated on a screen than it does in my originals. I find this odd as both are 2D presentations.

Thsi portrait actually ended up being more an 8"x10" image size than a 6"x8" as well, I should mention.

Thanks and this demo is now complete :-)


Jocelyn

Last edited by jocelynsart : 10-16-2006 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:13 PM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Thanks so much for the tips Jocelyn. The last step really helps me. I have a terrible time trying to leave those whisps white while painting in the background. Masking is very chunky and un-natural looking. My wc pencils might be just the effect I am looking for.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:53 PM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Jocelyn, I have been following this very closely - can I ask you a Q - your shading of the cheek and nose are so much more life like then the photo which appears on the screen, i.e. the contouring is more like one would see in a life study then a photo ref - so is there a point where you paint from experience as opposed to the ref when using a photo ?
I am just so impressed - do you do a greyscale of your painting? - it is just so perfect - comparing the two I am seeing subtilties I had not noted before.
And finally - although I am gushing - also learnt a lot of how you have gradually increased the likeness until it is spot on - fantastic.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:24 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Ellen: It's true, the whispy thin hairs are hard to leave thin enough as white. They can tend to be spaghetti-ish in size looking. I find in an acrylic or oil on canvas it is easier because, of course, one is working opaque and can go light over dark.

Hi Ruth: I have had a lot of experience drawing and painting from life. I also tend to know what to correct from photos. One thing I do do all the time is study and take mental notes about faces I see, skin in different light, palettes I would use if painting the person I am observing, mental notes about what is different in the image in front of me and to what I see when I take the shot of it, etc. All this helps me eventually, somewhere. However, sometimes in the ref photo I shot or am using for a commission, there may be an element I really liek btu is not particularly true to life. I may leave that in or incorporate it anyway because I like the effect of it, the drama it creates, the visual interest it creates in the composition, etc. This is when artistic license comes into play. In this photo, I know the ref was a bit darker and contrasty than I wanted the portrait. So, I just kept the skin tones lighter and softer. Shadows which are dark tend to be darker in most regular photos. The ref put up here at the end of this thread is actually very nice in the tones in the shadows. The one I had printed out was darker. On the light side, a bit of the values were blown out so I increased them.

I felt maybe with rushing, the likeness may have been lost but I get the feelign that it is her, that I did get her traits and her look and a bit of "her".

I don't do a greyscale as I can't really work like that, with too much techy study and having to refer to that and my coloured reference at the same time. Winging things is more comfortable to me. I could print grey scales now with having a home printer, it'd be easy to, but I just don't work like that. However, printing a b&w of your reference or composition is a great thing to have to compare to for value problems, etc. It is a great tool. I tend to know how I want the values balanced and also their intensity and their contrast before I start. It is not always the same as what my reference is providing me. Probably it is not always technically correct how I tend to present my portrait, but that is where artistic license comes in compared to "real life". I tend to go by how the portrait views to me, how it balances, is there a spot bugging me visually, etc.

This portrait actually is not totally realistic in rendering. I can see my "style" in it and sometimes that is not what I want to accomplish when doing a portrait of someone. I sometimes feel my "style" holds back the realism or the likeness that I am wanting. Here I think though, it works nicely.

Note: In the in person piece, there is more darkish purples in the shaded side of her hair. Here it is appearing a bit too warm and fleshy.

Jocelyn

Last edited by jocelynsart : 10-17-2006 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:38 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Hi Jocelyn

Well You talent sure came thru on this painting of Kelsey thats for sure.. She looks like she is painted , a rendering I guess is the word as opposed to looking like a photo which I hate.. If I want a painting like a photo I will get my camera.. lol..

Anyway this is just gorgeous.. I have learned quite a bit from you tutorial here and looking for to looking at the original to see how you got it all together.. The wc pencils is a great idea too. I would never have thought of that.. Not in a million years.

I have got my work cut out for me.. I am going to try to do either a 1/2 or 1/4 sheet.. Not sure when tho.. I have to get more Arches 300 paper.. ..

Oh paper. What type paper you use.. Rough smooth.. ???

I might give it a go tho in Acrylic while I wait to get someone to get me some paper. I dont drive anymore.. My last escapade driving was a couple of weeks ago up to Uschi's and had a hell of a time.. My eyes are no good anymore.. She felt really bad too that I drove up there.. Was first time I drove in a year.. Took a chance I did which I should not have..

Anyway thanks so so much for doing this... Just gorgeous..

Johnnie
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:21 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Hi Johnnie: Thank you, I am so very glad that you like it.

I just had a conversation last night with my aunt from Welland. She is going to call me later in the week to discuss where to get canvas. I am assuming there are not many choices in Southern Ontario for art supply stores or they all are a pretty far drive for most people? My step Dad, who is now married to my aunt (Jerry Springer material I know lol!), comes into Scarborough each day right now for his job and I'm going to hit Curry's and grab some canvasses for her to send back with him.

I know Curry's will ship in Ontario. They used to to the States but could not keep up with the orders so had to stop Int. shipping. You could always check their website for info on ordering. You should not drive is it is dangerous for you.

I tend to prefer cold press or toothy wc paper. I buy 300lb because I really don't care to give clients a flimsy feeling piece of paper with a portrait on it, it just seems contradictory to my fees for a portrait. I also stretch my wc paper for the same reason. I prefer to work on a sturdy solid surface and not a piece of thin moveable paper. I like having it down on an 18"x24" piece of pine or plywood. I don't care for taping it down either so I use staples and put down a half sheet.

This paper was Arches I think, 140lb. But, I'd stick with 300 lb for a more durable and forgiving surface. Smoother paper allows for better control of detail btu this rougher paper is fine, depending on the size of the portrait. I would not work too large as wc large is harder to control, unless working really loose and washy. A portrait in wc is comfortable for me from about 6"x8" to 11"x14" surface size, if only one person is being depicted. I can't work huge in wc as it tends to make the portrait then too loose and unrealistic with how I paint. It depends on your own comfort zone and brush stroke style and you'll find that after doing a few. In painting, a lot of what you'll learn needs to be learned via the "trial and error" method.

There are different tooths to wc papers. Some people prefer less toothy. I also like Strathmore illustration board, cold press, but can only find it at Michael's. I love the surface. It is less raggy then the wc paper but it is basically wc paper mounted on a backing is all illus. brd is. It has a bit of a smoother surface so I do find that the wc needs a bit more control to not leave odd little shapes around the outside of the puddle or strokes layed down. The edges of a stroke, if not liked when they are dry, can be softened or manipulated with a damp clean brush. Thsi way, some that you liek can be left and others can be altered. IE: you may not want a jagged odd edge to a stroke that is defining the shadow on a cheek and you may want to soften the edge of the dropped down stroke a bit after it drys so it is not so standoutish. Or, it may have dried as the perfect shape and you may want to leave it, especially if you want a more loose expressionistic appearance. In the portrait of Crystal (from the Xmas swap in 2004) from my samples put up earlier in this thread, there is a lot more "let the shape dry as it was layed down" strokes than there are here in Kelsey's portrait. In Kelsey, I tended to soften or blend ragged dried edges of strokes in the face. More in her neck area can you see strokes left just as they were layed in. I lie both looks so I just decide as I go which way to go, more blendy or more puddly and dry as layed strokes to build the face and form. One, they blendy method, tends to lend itself more to tighter traditional realism than the other.

Jocelyn
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:56 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

Sorry, I forgot about showing the beginning stage of getting the drawing on the surface. I did say I would do that. Here, I used a new portrait I am starting. I tend to draw them on freehand unless I am going from really small to very large or big diff. in scale. Or, unless I am trying to get something started fast re: time constraints or tight deadlines, I just enjoy drawing by hand. If I need something up fast, I do a light block in trace or projection then draw in further on that. The tracing is usally pretty inaccurate detail wise and is more for getting the comp. placed exactly as wanted on the surface with the first try. Otherwise, like mentioned, you'd be erasing a lot most likely, as it is rare (for me anyway) to draw something in a certain sized area perfectly placed the first time, which can distrub the surface cleanliness and texture wise. Most of my commissions, I am working within a specific picture frame size and I am fussy about comp. and placement and balance of background to subject ratio. I usually have all that worked out in thumbnail sketches and if I were to draw freehand, I'd never hit my thumbnail comp. perfect when going to my large surface, the first time around. So with more complicated compositions or large scale pieces, I will project a quick loose placement line drawing. Then, I can draw on top of that. For something small and simple like a head and shoulders, I just draw right onto my surface, unless I am really pressed for time or really (hate to admit this but it does happen off and on with commissions) not too personally interested in the subject or find it too boring therefore just want to get the drawing on. I still paint to the best of my ability on commissions where maybe I would not personally choose to paint the subject myself, but at the same time I don't care for doing a leisurely drawing first on those ones. I end up always doing some drawing on any loose transfer but not as long as a process if not starting freehand right on the surface.

Pencil is easier to erase than wc pencil crayon. So, in this example from a portrait I am starting today, I am starting with a light use of HB pencil. I can dab back anywhere where the lines get to dark. As long as I can kind of see them, I can paint as I tend not to draw too much when the medium is wc. WC is transparent.

Here, I drew a light quick oval the size I want to keep the face in. Then, I start in the eye on my right and go from there. I go into the nose, suggest the hair edge if bangs are present and then I will go into the other eye and the mouth. I find I tend to make noses too long so I need to make sure the nose is the second correctly drawn part after my start in the eye. I have to really make sure I observed and drew the distance and perspective correctly in the nose that follows the eye. That way, the rest should fall into place properly naturally, as I progress.

For an eye, I tend to lightly draw in the whole round eyeball and then bring the eyelid edge over and around that eye where it covers part of the eyeball. This way, I should get the shapes and the perspective right. An eyeball is a sphere and the lids sit over and around it and drawing it as a sphere forst, allowing the parts that are hidden to show, helps keep the shapes right when I do go into the drawing of the eyelid rims that surround it. What I am trying to say is, I don't draw the shape of the opening of the eye socket then draw in lines on each side for the iris and eyeball that can be seen. I draw the top shape of the eye opeing then I draw the whole eyeball. I erase the marks that are part of the sphere I drew that then will not be seen, that are below the eyelid and bottom lid. I hope you can see this in the drawing I have here. I may have them too light or have darkened in the area that will show, but I'll arrow to them.

I draw pretty light compared to what I showed as the drawing for Kelsey. I overdrew that so that it would be visible on the screen better. And, I don't use dark brown to draw in a portrait. My marks are usually barely visible as most of the drawing happens with the first stage of painting.




Last edited by jocelynsart : 10-17-2006 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:33 AM
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Re: Johnnie's Grandchild-Watercolour WIP

What a wonderful demo, Jocelyn!

And what a beautiful grandchild, Johnnie!

Lyn
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