Sunday, December 13, 2015


This portrait took a lot longer to finish than I thought and I feel that there is still perhaps more to do to it. I'll put it aside for a while then take a look at it later on with fresh eyes. Size is 10" x 14", watercolor on TH Saunders paper.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Leaving the skin and hair for awhile, I concentrated on completing the grey top. The sleeves are slightly see-thru so I first laid down a few orangeish washes as a base then when dry, painted the details such as the folds in the material etc over the top, all the while being careful not to go too dark or allow these areas to get muddy - easy enough to do! More darker grey washes followed then the slight pattern of the top was added afterwards. I had to keep standing back and looking at the painting from a distance to make sure that there was a uniformity of tone but also at the same time I kept adding some slightly darker tones to create depth within the fabric. When I was happy that the blouse was almost complete, I turned my attention to the hair adding more washes to deepen and enrich this area. I also started to define the neck and the slight shadow on her right shoulder but even at this point, I can see there is still quite a lot to do.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Here I have spent time working mostly on the hair trying to get a good depth of tone without going too dark. The shine on the hair was an interesting challenge to try and capture - it's not quite finished yet. I'm keeping the washes light at this time and will slowly darken them as I work my way through. Light washes have been also added to the face and shoulders trying to capture the correct form, and quite a lot of time spent working on the eyes too as this is a very important part of a portrait to get right - they are still not quite as I want them but overall I'm happy with the painting so far. My camera is making the skin tones look a bit blotchy here but in reality they are a lot smoother.


Here is the start of a new portrait of my lovely niece Lisa. I had been wanting to do a painting of her for some time so after a few drawings were completed, I took the plunge and started on a watercolor. Using my usual painting method, I started with a careful drawing on stretched watercolor paper then laid in some background washes - mostly neutral tint and raw umber. Letting that dry, I put in some of the darkest areas (her eyes) and a few washes for the hair. Immediately afterwards I noticed a few defects in the paper so will have to carefully work around them so as to maintain a smooth effect on the hair and skin - much work ahead!