Friday, September 25, 2009

Memory Portrait Comps-Color Variations

These are the four Memory Portrait comps of my sister Kate with four different color variations. I also added a braid to her hair to add another distinctive characteristic to her. She braids a section of hair close to her neck. I like the sepia toned one the most; mainly because I feel like the other ones look like a coloring book. I think I will do the final in gouache though instead of watercolor and do it in layers of brown, lightest values to the darkest.

Memory Portrait thumbnails

For this project we had to draw a family member from memory five different ways and try to highlight distinctive characteristics about them. This is my younger sister Kate. I chose to do her because she has a distinctive hairstyle-severe side swept bangs, and bright honey brown eyes. She also has some freckles across her nose which I have simplified to just a few stray dots. The two in the upper corners look most like her.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sexy Cola Can

For this project we had to do a highly realistic illustration of a soda can, xacto knife, #2 pencil or a cell phone - a glamour shot. It should look like a photograph. I chose to do a Coca-Cola can using gouache. First I painted the can red, with all the shadows then I went back in with a wet brush and removed some paint for the highlights. I did the lettering by first taking away the red paint and then putting to coats of white paint (with dry brush) on top. I am very happy with the way the lettering looks. As for the refelction, I just watered down the gouache and let it do it's thing. Awesome.
I really enjoyed this project. The goal was clear and I like paying attention to tight detail like the lettering.

Next: cartoons!!! oh boy, I'm scared. We shall see.

Friday, September 18, 2009


First guoache piece. At first it was a little scary, then about halfway through I felt pretty confident, then near the end I didn't know what to think. I don't really like the grass. But I tried using the sponge which I think can look really nice, but I messed with it too much. I should have done it once and then left it alone...better next time I suppose, right?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Same subject, 10 different techniques

The reason I posted so many this time was because each one as a tiny detail that I like a lot and that I think turned out really well. Next time, I just need to combine all these tiny, awesome aspects into one piece! Anyways...
The first is just a line drawing that I think turned out very nicely. I added the background at the last min-just because.
The second is watercolor only. I like this one especially for the background. The area around the cardinal is a little iffy though-not sure what to think about that.
The third is ink, then watercolor. It is also awesome because of the background. I am also proud of the ink drawing because it's a little looser than how I am used drawing.
The fourth was also ink then watercolor but the ink was basically just an outline-still with some personality though. Then the watercolor is pretty watered down and I left a lot of the paper showing through which I haven't been doing a lot of. Like the bird, not so much the tail.
The last two are my first attempts at using gouache-using the subtractive method (taking away paint with water to create form and shape) Not too bad. In the first one, I like the edges around the bird, particularly the edge along the cardinals breast. It has this great texture from where the paint bled out of the line a little when I was removing the paint to create the outline in the first place-definately a unintentional, but cool nevertheless. Hopefully it will look just as good when it's intentional!
The last guoache - I like the background, no cool edges.

Monday, September 14, 2009


This is a 20x30 in! Holy cow. Quite a jump from the 4.5x6 in I was getting used to.
I'm just going to put it out there right now - I don't like it. Ok, I do like the background alright and the center of the flowers-but that's it.
I lost what little confidence I had gained from the small paintings. I tensed up, and so did the paint. I tried to control it too much. I can't even tell you how many times I went back over the petals...over and over...ugh. Should've went with a landscape. I just hadn't done a still life since the first set of ten watercolors we did. Been doin lots of landscapes.
oh well, better next time.
In class we are expiermenting with gouache. Not sure how I feel about it yet. Rusty makes it look so easy!
More watercolors to come on Wednesday.

oh, one more thing...the very last thing I did was a yellow glaze over the flowers and the leaves/stems. It definately helped what little it possible could.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Watercolor/Sharpie vs Sharpie/Watercolor

The pansys were first done in watercolor then the sharpie was added. I actually didn't use a visual reference for this one. I just wanted to see what would happen. This is pretty much what I was expecting and I'm happy with the outcome. I think sometimes I tend to over work a piece, esp if I'm using a reference. This time I had nothing to compare it to so I just kind of let the paint to its thing. Then I added just enough lines to make the blobs of color identifiable. I'm not too crazy about the background though.
The second painting of the house was done in sharpie first, then watercolor was added. I'm pretty happy with the way this one turned out, but I didn't like doing it in this order as much as the other one. It wasn't as fun. When you do watercolor first all you have to do is just block in color and then add the details with the sharpie.


Both of these were first done with watercolor and then the sharpie was added.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Line Art/Watercolor

On this round of watercolors we had to do two of each compostion: one watercolor and one with line art (black sharpie) only. I did all the line art first. I found it a little annoying at first, Ive never been that great with just a sharpie, but it actually helped with the watercolor process - it went much faster than the last couple of times. So for me, more than anything else, the line art was just a planning stage.
I was also a little short on time, so I had to speed things up and was surprised to like the results just as much (on some of them at least), and it was more fun. I think I had several decent watercolors this time.

Architecture in Watercolor

These are my two best watercolors with architecture. They were a bit tricker than the previous ones, with just landscape. Obviously architecture would require a little more detail than just a landscape. I think I let myself get to caught up in the detail bit-trying to be too careful. But I think I was somewhat succesful in the first one with the brown house. I tried to break the house down in to very simple, individual geometric shapes. And as for the one with the barn, the compostition is the greatest but I love the colors.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


These are my two best landscape watercolors. I chose the one with the blue sky and clouds because of how awesome the blue sky and clouds look!!! I used a wet on wet technique. First, I wet the whole page with a little bit of blue. Then I took a papertowl and blotted the areas that you see as white. This removed the water from those areas so that when I went back and added the very saturated areas of blue where the paper was still really wet, it didn't bother the dry areas. I was surprised at how soft the edges around the clouds were, but very pleased. The tree turned out alright-it's a little blobish in the center so thats why I also posted the second watercolor. I like the tree best in this one; I used a dryer brush.
I'm liking watercolor a lot more than I though I would. Still working on letting it do most of the work, but I'm getting better and I'm also finding the quick pace of it fun and refreshing.