These eyes are from the final image… notice the more rounded iris on the left… still a bit cross-eyed… but nowhere near as bad as in my first draft.
Over the summer I painted this fella from a photo in the Sktchy app on my phone. First I drew in a rough sketch in pencil and then painted a light base layer.
I’m using an Arteza Watercolor Journal – 9 in. X 12 in. This paper sucks up paint and I knew I needed layers to get the desired contrast and vibrancy.
Better. I even thought I was done. But no. I’m sure you can see it too… there’s something wrong with the eye on the left. His eyes aren’t tracking correctly… he’s cross-eyed in my journal but not in his photo. (I’m sorry I can’t show you the photo but he owns the copyright and I don’t have permission to post it. You can see it linked to my work in Sktchy.)
Anyway… it sat on my desk for months before I attempted the fix. It’s subtle, but I rounded the iris on the left hoping to separate the two irises and correct his focus. It seems to have helped… sort of… not entirely, but it’s time to move on, turn the page and select another victim.
I’m sure you’ve heard them all… sometimes all of them in one sentence!
I originally meant to post this last Friday and the RuPaul quote today but without a schedule I’ve been getting my days mixed up. I’m sure I’m not alone as we all adjust to the ever changing situation. Stay safe my friends…
“Being youthful is about being flexible both literally and figuratively. In this life, if you can stay flexible, you have a really good chance of navigating a really rich experience for yourself on this planet.”
Wise words we all would do well to remember during these tumultuous times.
(Portrait of a Sktchy muse in a Hahnemühle Nostalgie A5 Sketch Book)
The Coronavirus pandemic has all the world’s inhabitants on edge, including me.
As we search for ways to cope some people turn to information gathering, some turn to science and others to their faith. Some, like me, turn to all of these and run it through the “art filter” in our brains.
This information goes into my addled brain, swirls around as I try to make sense of it, and then comes out through my hand onto my journal pages. Often it’s still an entry of jumbled thoughts, but I’m comforted by the act. It’s one small way I can adapt… an arrow in my quiver of coping mechanisms.
As I wrote on my March 16th journal spread, “The only thing constant is change.”
(My take on Edvard Munch’s The Scream, and two Sktchy portraits in a Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketch Book – A5 portrait) (some text obscured for privacy.)
I thought I was done… scanned it and closed the book.
I was happy, at least I thought I was, yet I knew something was off. I studied it using what Roz Stendahl calls the “editing eye”. This isn’t some rash commentary from my internal critic but an honest review of technique and composition to determine what could be improved.
Although I lost the tilt of his head in comparison to the inspiration photo I could live with that. Instead I focused on how washed out my watercolors looked. Now that was something I could change.
Another layer of darker pigments for his hair and beard and a deeper orange glaze for his jacket and I was done.
A few days ago my friend Bobbie Herron published “That Dang Adolescent Period” on her blog, Aloft with Inspiration. In it she describes the idiosyncrasies and unpredictability of watercolor and the importance of perseverance. Please take a minute to read it… I’ll be here when you’ve finished.
Finally I was inspired to revisit a sketchbook-painting I started… and abandoned… over a week earlier. It had hit the adolescent phase where inexplicably everything looked wrong. Not only were my proportions off but my colors looked pale and insipid.
It needed more layers… but where to begin? I was paralyzed. Instead I closed the book knowing it was unfinished.
The sketchbook sat on my desk all week mocking my indecision.
Then I read Bobbie’s post.
It took me less than an hour to add more hair to the crown improving her proportions. A few more layers of bold juicy watercolors and I called it done.