Watercolor issues

My recent watercolor sketches haven’t been looking so good. I was struggling with it a lot. I was just looking at the ones I’ve done 15 years or so ago taking myself back there mentally to try and figure out how I did it then. I started using watercolor then because I didn’t have any other option to paint except by carrying around a pocket watercolor kit and a sketchbook. It occurred to me that I wasn’t even seeing it as the watercolor media but was just thankful to be practicing with a brush and colors. I was struggling nowadays because I was looking at it as this “WATER”color that I haven’t used for 15 years which caused me to think too much about technical things like how much water should go into it etc. Back then, since I was just painting the same, I was subconsciously using right amount of water as needed and never encountered problems I’m having now like overworked smudges due to too much water etc. It’s easier if you want to do a careful rendering with modest amount of water but for watercolors I prefer the bold and carefree sketchy watery look which is the elegance of the media to me. Like Sargent’s. Zorn used it in a more careful rendering fashion too so I don’t like his as much. But to do the fluid sketchy kind, the trick for me is to not think of it as WATERcolor painting but just painting. It’s similar with playing different musical instruments, where I’d have to treat them as if I’m singing the same but merely through different tools. Otherwise I’d have much harder time with technical differences. Whereas if I were to just sing it out, my hands or fingers would fall into right places without thinking about it. I will try watercolor again soon.

Painting Jessica

This video is first few hours into painting my model Jessica. It was cut short because the camera ran out of memory space during shooting. Also the there is a lot of glare..Next one will be of better quality.

Jessica D, 16"x20" oil on canvas

Jessica D, 16″x20″ oil on canvas

New painting

New piece started when I probably shouldn’t have, since I have several other unfinished pieces hanging around. But who can resist that excitement of beginning a new painting. Few shots from the first sesh.

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Process for this WIP painting.(click on images to enlarge)

I began this painting by laying in few lines to indicate the general placements/composition, using burnt umber oil paint with rather large brush.



I began defining.developing more..



I started getting into forming the face, using more opaque paints of burnt umber and titanium white.



I continued to define the face..




Continued defining the face using smaller brushes now..



Began adding colors while continuing to define the face and adding hair.


To be continued..