Portraits #1/2 & #3/4

I’m so silly…I charged ahead with my 100 portraits in watercolor idea, began with the one of my husband in his chef’s hat, but wanted to include the other two portraits I had made in my cheapy sketchbook.  But how?  They were actually painted a day or so BEFORE the one of my husband (Portrait #1), and I do want to go in chronological order as much as possible, so how to include them?  Thus, the 1/2 and 3/4 numbering.  I don’t think I’ll consider these as part of the 100, but wanted you to see them anyhow.  These are both sketches of the girl in the final commissioned portrait I told you about (which has sort-of been the catalyst for all this 100 portrait hoopla).  She is a cheerleader at her high school and these are close-up versions of a couple of photos I’m choosing from.  I’ve decided on the first one, but the final painting will include her other hand as well as this hand.  The hands are in mid-clap.

They were painted very quickly…I was just trying to get a sense of the shapes and colors…but there’s something I like about them.  The light quality in the first one is pleasing and the colors in the second are lovely even if the hair values are just too dark.  These are examples of what I love most about art:  the AVANT, not the APRES.  Or, more plainly, the SKETCH as opposed to the FINISHED PAINTING.  Really and truly people, this is what I long to accomplish:

To have my “finished” paintings look like sketches!  Seriously, I want to be able to have final versions be as free, loose, effortless, sketchy…all the wonderful qualities I love so much about PRE-liminary artist’s work.  So hold me to it, folks!  When they start getting fussy, overworked, and stiff– I won’t quit!  No, I’ll continue to face the page and try again…if I’ve done it before, I can do it again, right??  Here again, these are painted on cheap paper…but final versions cannot be painted on this stuff.  So, I’m going to begin pulling out my “good” watercolor paper and making these portraits on the good stuff.  I need to dispel the thought that I make my best work only on cheap paper.  If I can mentally get over the “good paper” block, I’ll be one step further in my quest.

Thanks again for joining me on this lovely little journey!

0 thoughts on “Portraits #1/2 & #3/4

  1. Cecelia says:

    These are really nice. I know what you mean about the “good paper”. I’ve beeen wanting to do a portrait of a friend, for years and I finally got a sketch in charcoal on canvas, ready to paint and I’m hesitating. I don’t know if she looks right! I can’t see her face very well in any of the old photos I have of her. I can’t ever do the same thing twice, though. It’s always different. I hoped to have this and a couple of other paintings ready for our high school reunion on the 12th, so I had better get busy! I told her husband at our last reunion 3 years ago that I was going to do her portrait, and I’ve just been at the “thnking about it” stage for that long!

  2. Timaree (freebird) says:

    Well is it the cheapo paper making you feel like you won’t be wasting it if you fail or is it the texture you like and the way the paint plays on it? What paper have you used for your good portraits? Why can’t you use cheapo paper if it brings you the result you and your customers want? These are fun and very loose sketches but your others have caught some important details. Well after 100 of these you should have a real feel for the middle ground.

    • jenpedwards says:

      Hi Timaree! Love all your replies! I do think the cheapo paper makes me feel freer to throw on the paint and let it be loose and free. This paper would buckle so badly if I were to do a commissioned portrait on larger paper of its quality. And actually, for commission work, typically folks want to have more detail in them and for them to be as close a likeness as absolutely possible. I want to achieve something that would not have to have the exactness of commission work, but still maintain a likeness to the individual as well as an expression of their personality. Does that make sense??

  3. Raena says:

    There is something about cheap paper that lets me not be so perfectionistic about the painting. Not a great hangup to have I know, but it’s nice knowing that if I want to do a practice run first, it’s there and won’t cost much! Your “sketches” are fabulous!

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