Struggling a bit with heavy pigmentation of Stuart Semple watercolours making this portrait of Jasmine from the `Museum by Sktchy app. If you like strong colour then they’re definitely for you! I’ve only used them once before and I was struggling to get the lighter wash that I wanted – I need much more practice with them.
I was recently gifted some Winsor & Newton watercolour markers. I’ve never used watercolour markers before so this portrait of Sydney was my first experiment with them. I was a long way out of my comfort zone but it was fun to play around with the colour and see what the markers could do. The most interesting thing I learned was that some of the colours respond much better to the addition of water than others – it will take me a while to remember which ones!
Sometimes simplest is best. I loved the angle of the inspiration image for this portrait of Katoka from the Museum by Sktchy app but I kept my drawing and painting as simple as possible because i was concerned that if I made the portrait at all complicated it might be difficult to read. i think it works well as it is.
This is Jan from the Museum by Sktchy app. I’m taking a much slower approach to my drawing and watercolour painting when I’m not actually teaching in a class at the moment (when I have to work fast because we only have about because we about 40 minutes of class time to work on a drawing). I’m think I’m getting better results from working slower.
In my last post I shared a portrait that I started during a workshop last weekend with watercolour artist Mario Robinson. Yesterday I began this portrait of Vic from Museum by Sktchy with the very deliberate intention of using my usual watercolour and coloured pencil approach BUT incorporating what I had learned from Mario’s workshop last weekend.
So instead of rushing the watercolour stage as I usually do I slowed right down. I started yesterday and finished today, spending at least twice as long as I usually do on it (2 hours +). I also used water in a second brush to soften the edges and preserve the highlights. And I tried to replicate some of Mario’s very swift brush strokes, designed to keep the brush on the paper for a short a time as possible.
I also didn’t do a number of things that I would usually do. I didn’t use any masking fluid – and I really like the end result just using water to preserve highlights, even if it takes longer. I didn’t use my usual darker fineliner – I’m not so sure about this decision. I feel like that’s part of my style and the portrait does look quite right without it. And because I did go in to finish off with my coloured pencil hatching I think that’s looks a little off (too strong ) without the fineliner outline to balance it. But I think my watercolour work is definitely better than it was a week ago, especially in the hair which is where I always lack the most confidence.
So I think going forward I will certainly be taking a lot of what I learned and incorporating it into my own method and adapting it to make it workable within the shorter timescales that I generally work with.
Last weekend Sketchbook Skool held an online watercolour workshop with the incredibly talented American watercolour artist Mario Robinson. I attended the workshop, and though I couldn’t stay for the whole live event, I was able to catch up with what I missed afterwards via online recordings.
I’ve spent several hours today painting the model from the workshop, Nellie, doing my best to follow Mario’s instruction. I didn’t have the same paints that he used (he used Winsor & Newton paints which I don’t have) or even all the same colours in other brands of paints so I had to do my best to approximate his colour mixes – but my painting is still much too brown. I clearly didn’t get the blue to brown ratio right when mixing.
I learned so much about technique from watching Mario work. But what I also learned is that I really don’t have the patience to be a realistic painter. I’m always too keen to just rush ahead with my pencil and brush. After 2 hours of blocking and glazing I’d more than had enough and I really didn’t want to do any more. I wanted to finish this and move on to my next portrait. So I stopped at this half- finished point rather than continue on…
It’s not often that I draw a whole person and even rarer that I do a portrait of a child, but who can resist a child in a dinosaur jacket? Not me. This is from a photo posted by Meredith on the Museum by Sktchy app.