Furry Friends

Well, I never said these 100 portraits had to all be people!  I just HAD to paint this guys’ portrait!  He was beggin’ me:  standing there in Mr. Whicker’s field chewing and staring at me.  What I didn’t realize when I snapped his photograph, was the bright sun bleaching out the green grass and making one big shape of the grass, the fence behind, and the side of his face…totally cool for a painting!  I wanted to achieve the connection between all these “things” into one large shape.  And then to connect the dark shapes of his face, his body, and the green trees behind him.  It was a terrific way to practice this whole thing of seeing the light & dark shapes and connecting them.

Then, after I painted the first one, I just had to try it in a different color scheme.  I had a theory forming in my head from Portrait #10, that one can achieve a wonderful sense of light without having to “match” the dark value to just what you see in a photo.  I noticed this in several of Charles Reid’s paintings from his book Watercolor Solutions.  In it, there are two paintings of John Singer Sargent where Mr. Reid paints from a black & white photo of Mr. Sargent.  None of the dark values in Charles Reid’s paintings are anywhere near as dark as the photograph’s.  It struck me that the sense of light he achieved was just as strong…perhaps even better than having such dark shapes.  I stumbled on this in the last Portrait (#10).  And wanted to make another go of it with my new furry friend from the field above our neighborhood.

It’s fun to make a series of the SAME painting.  I might just keep going with this…see what I come up with.

0 thoughts on “Furry Friends

  1. carrie242 says:

    I think I remember something from Alex Powers on Portraits about leaving an open space to enter your portrait and this has a perfect opportunity. This little Cow is the cutest one I’ve seen.

  2. Raena says:

    Oops…wasn’t done.

    Sometimes I already know the ‘idea’ of what you’re saying, but it is so nice to see it put into practice. It really sinks in that way.

  3. Deborah says:

    I have to say though, that the first painting with the wonderful sharp contrasts is much more appealing to me! Both are so great! You inspire me so much with your ability to “sculpt” an image in watercolor – so completely fresh and never overworked. I just stand amazed!

  4. Timaree (freebird) says:

    I see what you mean. The purple cow looks like he is actually in brighter light. I guess it acts like when we are in super bright sunlight and it just bounces off everything so the shadows aren’t even as dark. I love these pictures.

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