I felt like “the little engine who couldn’t” as I painted this…I kept thinking: I don’t think I can do this! I don’t think I can do this! But looking at it now, I think I did! It’s a weird thing to explain to someone that you really haven’t the foggiest notion how to go about a particular painting. You have some vague notions about shape and value, but it really isn’t until you put paint to paper that you begin responding intuitively to what’s happening and somehow it begins to fall into place. Not always…but sometimes. And when that happens=oi! what a feelin’!
The drawing part gave me fits! The angle of her face, plus the downward gazing eyes, the shadows from the hair, and the overall high-key feel to painting a blond. This is my oldest daughter’s best friend who came over to help Catherine get ready for prom. I painted this on the “good” stuff…the 140 lb. Saunders Waterford and I loved working on it this time! I concentrated on laying down the color and not noodling it to death. I’ll give it several more tries and then switch over to say, Arches, or Fabriano, just to get a feel for all these different papers. If you are a watercolor painter…let me know what paper is YOUR favorite to paint on and why.
Wanna know what brush I’m using? Well, for many, many years I used Cheap Joe’s Starving Artist brushes, rounds in sizes 10 and 12 for all the sketchbook work and even some of the big paintings. A few months back I purchased the same size brushes in Leow Cornell’s #7020 Series Ultra Round brush recommended by Laurelines some months back. It has taken some adjustment, but I’m loving these brushes! I used the size 12 throughout this 10″ x 11″ painting. I’m learning to use the shape of the brush in different ways as I paint. I’ve always wanted to own those cadillac sable brushes that all my favorite transparent watercolor heros use (Charles Reid, Eric Weigardt, Janet Rogers…), but have never been able to quite bring myself to spend the $100+ dollars on one of them. I’m quite happy with these Leow Cornell brushes. Perhaps if I ever tried the real sable brushes, I’d know what I was missing…but ignorance is bliss in this case and I’m happily painting with much cheaper brushes!
Happy painting to everyone and thanks again for sharing the portrait journey with me!