Category Archives: portrait

Kierra, again, with a few adjustments

I left the sketch for a couple of days, and when I came back to it, I immediately knew what need to be finished. I layered and painted until my sketchbook paper protested by bubbling.



A sketch of my little sister in watercolor and colored pencil. Not sure if it’s completely done, I might take a few days and look back to see if I want to add more detail.

A long overdue post

At the student art show, I completely forgot to take pictures of Amanda’s finished portrait. Well without further ado:

After I added the finishing touches to this piece, I immediately turned it in to the gallery. So a few weeks later when I picked it up, I noticed that the piece changed a little bit. You’re blind if you didn’t notice the very obvious warping (nicely accentuated by the black mat board). Whatever.  I’m still really proud of the piece. And me saying that about any of my artworks is a novelty. 

In which Kelly prepares her work for an art show

Because of unforeseen problems, I got NO sleep. 
I already mentioned that my sculpture had a skin predicament…
Placing in the hanging wire took the least amount of time…which is hilarious since I thought it would take me the longest to do.
Remember this? It’s been sitting patiently in our apartment dining room for this whole semester. Now our dining room feels a whole lot emptier without it. 

I was paranoid and wrapped the wire all the way across the line. Toby told me that the wire should hold the canvas. Then I sheepishly mentioned that I was worried about the wire snapping during the art show. I mean, how horrid would it be to have your painting fall off the wall during an art show. Answer…it would be embarrassing. Toby told me that scenario was unlikely. He told me he’d never heard of such a thing happening before. 

Ha. There’s always a first time.  
What took me the longest time was Amanda’s portrait. Or more specifically, the background. 

The beading was killing me.
I used a mop brush to apply the background. I just bought it about a week ago and I wish I had it sooner because if you want watercolor to look like watercolor or paint in puddles, like I am now, it is frankly the best brush EVER. 

With the mop brush I added lots of pigment and then added TONS of water. Basicially, I was working with a gigantic puddle.

The pictures here show the portrait almost done. By this time, I decided not to record every painting move I made. And I forgot to add a picture of the final image. If this makes it into the final show (and I sincerely hope it does), I’ll make sure to snap a few shots at the art show. 

My sculpture has a skin condition…

I’m submitting art into our school’s student art show and I’m getting my pieces ready. I thought all I had to do was make a mat for my watercolor (and FINISH the watercolor) and put wire behind my canvas, but then I take a gander at my sculpture:

It’s FLAKY. 
I mentioned in another post that I used skim milk. I’m hoping that was my big mistake because I got whole milk to drown my torso bust in. 

I used a soft synthetic goat hair brush to apply the milk. The softer the brush, the less brushstrokes will show. And yes, they might show when you’re getting coats thicker on the plaster. 

And while I’m working on the torso bust, I’m putting in a background in the watercolor portrait.

See how it beads? It’s a pain in the butt. I’m using a Cerulean blue mixed with dabs of Ultramarine blue, but I’m not sure if I’m like it too much. 

I think the background needs to be a little bit different. I think the blue background might start looking like the shirt. So why put in a background? Why not just leave it blank? I think a background is needed to make the left side of her face (or the way we’re looking on… the RIGHT side) needs a background color to show where the cheek ends and where the background begins. There has to be a color in the picture already that hasn’t been used. And that’s when I started thinking about red. Maybe a burnt red that’s really washy, but I think it will work. It’s a better idea than what I’m doing now. 
 I’ll post pictures of the finished project(s)!

No blendy blendy!

What do you get when you combine illustration board and matte medium?

Answer: A surface that makes watercolors bead.
So the solution, my professor points out, is to paint in puddles. And then she adds to me, “No blendy blendy, Miss Sullivan.”
I think that I haven’t painted enough to have a signature style, but I think it’s a fair assessment that I tend to have an inclination to make things as realistic as humanly possible. A.K.A. “blendy.”
But I like to think that I’m utilizing watercolors and their unique form, and letting them do their own thing and perhaps nudging them where I want them to go.
For our next project, a portrait, I made sure that I painted only in puddles.

(Amanda, watercolor on illustration board)

(detail of Amanda: IT’S ALL PUDDLES!!!)
There are a few touch ups on the nose and the background I want to attack with various brushes and q-tips. But besides that I’m quite happy with the results.

I see naked people

New year. New semester. New classes. 

All of them being art classes. Either this will be the greatest thing ever, or the worst. It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing art. I don’t enjoy feeling like this. Scared, stressed, and scrambling for time. 
I have many projects, papers, and art pieces to complete. And to top it all off, tomorrow is my sophomore review. I’ll sit in front of a panel who are of epitomes of the American Idol judges, but are really just teachers from different art departments. But I’m sure there will be the Paula Abduls, the Randy Jacksons, and (if I’m really lucky) the Simon Cowells. Oh, wait. There’s a fourth judge right? Kara what’s-her-last-name? Never mind. End of metaphor. 
Obviously, I’m extremely nervous. I talked to one of my friends, a fashion design student, who already had her review. She assured me I’d be fine and that I needed to chill. But I’m not so sensible. 
Here are some nude studies from a life drawing class I’m taking:

One of our models told us that he does this professionally, and in his spare time, he studies poses from paintings and sculptures in art history texts. Makes sense. This pose is very Renaissance-esque:
Mini-sketch of our model (I ran out of newsprint):
The end of one class, Toby decided that we could try to do a portrait. While it might be a convincing rendering of a human face, a few changes would have made it actually look like our model:

A note on the nude thing: Not a big deal. As the Calendar Girls say, the difference between a naked person and a nude person is art (If you haven’t seen that movie, watch it).