First Stage

Starting a portrait can be intimidating. I’m often left wondering how and where to begin. How do I want the finished project to look? Do I want to use pencil or ink for the basic drawing? Do I want the coloring to be subtle or bold? What to do first?

Here I quickly sketched her in pencil and then put in light washes for her skin tones and shadows before putting in the background wet in wet. I decided to aim for bold.

It’s fortunate I remembered to stop and take a photo. I so often get in the flow, keep painting and only when I’m finished think how a few early photos would help me as a reference for techniques I could use when starting another project.

I had masked off a frame using 1/2 inch artist’s tape which allowed the painting to have a nice crisp edge as it floats on the page. It’s definitely a technique I’ll be trying again.

You’ll see… I’ll share another on Monday. In the meantime, Happy Groundhog Day!

Pencil and Watercolor in an 8″ square HandBook Watercolor Journal. Portrait of a muse from Sktchy.

Inktober 2018 Revisited… a Video!

I’ve meant to do this for months… nothing better than a deadline to prompt a procrastinator to “get the lead out”!

A friend in a mutual Facebook group put out the challenge to sketch daily… “organic shapes from observation”… and Daily Potato was born. It was October, it was time for Inktober, and it was destiny… I chose to do a mashup of Inktober, #dailypotato, and finally filling the Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Journal with pre-painted spreads I created in Roz Stendahl’s online class “Textures”.

When doing these month-long projects I like to have the framework of a theme, however loosely defined, to help me focus. I tend to follow that plan the first week or so but as the month progresses boredom sets in. In order to keep it interesting and fun I find it’s important to start reaching and experimenting. Raiding my stash of multicolored FW Acrylic Inks was definitely the best part of this project!

Enjoy the short video, it’s less than 4 minutes long. I hope you like seeing how my pages progressed through the month.

(All pages: Sailor Fude pen with water-soluble black ink and assorted colors (including white) FW Acrylic Ink in a Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Journal with pre-painted page spreads.)