This is part of my ongoing effort to become better at painting people, be it portraits or just urban scenes like this one.
I bought a new camera recently, it has a mega-zoom capability (Nikon Coolpix P1000). So far I feel a bit like a voyeur but I guess I’ll get used to taking pictures of people without them knowing it after a few months of practice. It’s all about practice, that’s how you become a good artist or a skilled voyeur.
I painted this sketch on an Arches paper block, 31 x 23 cm – rough.
Click the thumbnail belong for a full-sized image.
Yes, I am having fun practising my portraits, the reason for this is I can see a large improvement every time I paint a new one. I have been using portrait images downloaded from Sktchy App (iPhone) which is great for artists and self-obsessed selfie users who want a free portrait of themselves.
I would love to just paint portraits everyday until I felt I had mastered them but there is always something that gets in the way. It’s not good to be so manic either, I can always try to be better at several things at the same time. My progress may not be as fast but at least I’ll be having more fun.
The model for this watercolour portrait was once again from Sktchy App.
If you would like to see a larger version please click the thumbnail below.
I am enjoying my return to figure painting. I have been using charcoal for ages but not anymore, at least until I crave a change, … which happens quite often. The poses here are 2-5 minutes long, the drawing has to be quick as you can imagine. I paint as much as I can, no time to be fussy -that is why it’s so much fun!
I don’t know how long I can keep this up? I want to paint a portrait every day for the foreseeable future so that I can improve in this area. The only problem is there are other projects that need to be taken care of too. I can juggle pretty good but dealing with my new art career is tricky.
I am happy enough with this portrait, I like the nose – that’s enough for me to like the painting. See, I am not too demanding on myself! I spent too much time fiddling with the shading so it’s not perfect but I know I will improve each time I do a portrait and that’s incentive enough for me.
Painted on Suanders Waterford CP 26 x 36 cm.
Click the image below if you would like to see the full- sized painting.
I have been trying really hard not to paint sail boats for a while now, it’s hard – I just love to paint them. The reason I am avoiding them is so that I can develop as a watercolour artist by painting other things that I am not used to and find difficult. Portraits are difficult, the one that’s featured here doesn’t resemble the original model very well. I wasn’t trying too get a perfect likeness, my goal is to master painting skin and building the facial form, I think creating a likeness will improve as I practice.
The model reference by the way was downloaded from the iPhone only Sktchy app. Why it’s only iPhone users who can use this service I do not know. Click the thumbnail below to see the full-sized image
I call this watercolour, “Alone in Paris”. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, when I visited the Musée d’Orsay in Paris I was struck by the sheer volume of people milling around the famous works of art. It was so busy I wasn’t able to get up close to study how masters like Van Gogh painted. I felt that the visitors weren’t really looking at the art on display, they merely acknowledged their presence. You could say they were ticking a list, Monet – check, Van Gogh – Check, Renoir – check and so on. So I felt like I was the only person in the room at that given moment who really wanted to immerse himself in the painting.
I was thinking also, how Van Gogh would feel? So famous now but ignored during his own life time. Here is a link to a description of his self-portrait by the way. I don’t know if he would be happier today, people are still not really looking at his art, – trying to understand it. His art has become a trophy that the super rich buy to stroke their egos. I am not so famous and I sell to only those who really appreciate my watecolours, I like it like that.
My wife mentioned that my style in this painting is more similar to my earlier art which was more graphic or cartoon like. I have to agree, I think the reason for this is that I am unsure of myself as I am only starting to paint people. I would much prefer to paint my figures like say Benjamin Björklund, which is to leave more for the viewer to fill in. I love Impressionism because it is so hard for me to achieve I think.
Alone in Paris: 52 x 34 cm
Click the thumbnail below to see the full-sized image
This is the final watercolour I will be painting from my experiences in Japan earlier this year. I suspect I will be visiting again soon as my son lives there and I miss him so. I look forward to finding more inspirational scenes to paint on my next visit.
If you haven’t already seen my latest YouTube video ( I paint the O-Torii Gate ) here is a link to it: https://youtu.be/yRRO36NAnU8 Click the thumbnail below to see the full-sized image