Tuesday, August 17, 2010

PORTRAIT TWO

Alaina has very interesting features. She doesn't look like the 8-year-old she is but already has hints of the beautiful woman she will become. Those older-than-eight features are a bit more difficult to capture than her sister's age appropriate, 10-year-old features. So...I started and made a mess so am starting again, focusing on the drawing a bit more (and bigger so her face fills the 1/2 sheet on which I'll be painting).

For my portrait challenge, you'll be getting the bad along with the good. Here's the first feeble efforts...


Went too pink too quickly - looking a bit like a little clown-girl in this one. So I tried to tone down the colors...and went too muddy. Plus I kept carving away the face so it's so tiny!!









The do-over is sketched out on tracing paper (so I can trace it onto the watercolor paper). Tried to get the face a bit larger, wide mouth more smiling. I think this one has a better chance of succeeding when I pick up the paint brush.


Each stroke of the brush, when doing portraits, is a learning experience. You learn: yes, do that, it works well. Or: Ugh! Stop now! That doesn't work. You think about colors, temperature, values, and also have to get the shapes right - the shapes of the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the distances between them...so much to think about and try to get just right. It can be tiring. But when it does come together and you think you've got it, it gives you a real rush that your hard work paid off.
For a child, a light touch is necessary. But Alaina has a very forceful personality and I want that to come out in this painting. I hope I can do that without overworking it and making her look too old.

14 comments:

Ann Buckner said...

Love the sketch Rhonda and the do over shows much improvement. Love your persistence. :)

RHCarpenter said...

I hope I can keep the persistence going, Ann. Thanks for the support.

Teresa Palomar Lois said...

You've chosen a difficult perspectiv eRhonda, I'm sure you know that, but at the same time it's more interesting this way, can't wait to see how you approach the do-over with those brushes :)

Jane said...

Rhonda, I love love love your drawing. What if you did such a detailed drawing on your wc paper in ink and just put washes over? I think you'd have a stunner. You're a brave woman, tackling a child, and a child with such strong features.

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Your redo is so alive! I love the pose you've chosen.

Lisa Walsh said...

It's not a mess, it's a learning experience! Every painting brings you a step closer to where you want to be. I'm going to love watching what you do with this challenge, Rhonda. With each piece, you just get better and better.

Vicki Greene said...

I am seeing great improvement right before my eyes and the drawing is wonderful.

RHCarpenter said...

Gracias, Teresa :)

Jane, I like the idea of the pen and ink and watercolor wash - may try that along with the traditional watercolor painting.

Thanks, Pam, Lisa and Vicki. It always suprises me how far "off" I am at first so always let the drawing sit...return and "see" it much better and make slight - or big - changes to get it right. I think it's pretty good...now to translate that to paint?!?

Christiane Kingsley said...

The drawing is fantastic and the "do over" is very good. I admire you for tackling such difficult subjects.

Artoholic said...

Rhonda I admire your determination and persistence - my efforts at portraits would never get much past the drawing stage I imagine.

Watercolour is a tricksy medium, but it's those miles behind the brush that master it eventually. I'm still down on my mileage!

Great job so far, and I'm looking forward to seeinf more of your portrait pieces.

Cheers,

Cindy

Deb Léger said...

Hi Rhonda, that's a beautiful sketch you're working from! I like the eyes in the second one and the spontaneity in the first painting. Keep going!

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, Christiane. I sometimes have good intentions...hope I can stay determined to follow through with this one.

Thanks, Cindy and Deb :) I'll keep going and see what happens.

dining table said...

You are very right in this line "Each stroke of the brush, when doing portraits, is a learning" Painting for me is learning. Every portrait that you do you always learns new things. Your portraits are so amazing.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks, dt :) It's sometimes hard to see it all as learning, especially when you feel you are not succeeding - but those mini-failures will turn into success with more practice practice practice :)