Well, I reverted back. Back to the cheaper paper. It’s actually an American Journey watercolor sketchbook from Cheap Joe’s and they “said” that it was filled with their Kilimanjaro paper, but I told them I didn’t think so. It is much thinner than the Kilimanjaro 22″ x 30″ sheets and it doesn’t have the same cold press (or hot press) feel to it. Anyway, it definitely has a different response than the Saunders Waterford paper did. And I loved going back to it for this realization: I felt just as “off my feet” as I did with the good paper. Perhaps it’s because I’m reaching for something more now. New territory in approach and in what I’m after, so I don’t feel confident. I did rework this a good bit in places and it didn’t fall apart on me like my Aquabee sketchbook would have. What I do like here is the “pieces of paint” effect I’m after. But I’m realizing that it takes a very confident stroke, letting it stay there, and NOT noodling it to death. I noodled A LOT in this painting! Oi!
I took great care with the drawing. I do spend a bunch of time trying to get the drawing “correct”, so that my map for color shapes and values will allow the portrait to look something like a face. It certainly did this. But it wasn’t until I painted it, that I could see the flaws in my original drawing. I won’t go into all the places where I should have drawn this here, paid more attention there, shifted this left, that right, elongated this, raised that. Ah me. It can be discouraging. The likeness to our oldest daughter is not spot-on. But I believe the overall effect is good: a pleasing mix of colors, love the cropped, up-close view, and the hands. Oh boy, did you see the hands? I’m very tickled with those! They turned out looking like hands AND having that tossed off look to them. Can’t wait to do more hands!! Oh, and I like the eyes here. I ALWAYS like painting eyes and these were no exception. Ahhhh…..<sigh of contentment>.
But the one thing I’ll remember about this portrait is: the unfortunate blue stripe down her neck. <Meh..>:( I can definitely say I’ve learned: don’t paint a blue stripe down the neck…you can’t lift it completely off.