Friday, June 04, 2010

Portrait painting in progress...maybe I'll try me next!

This is my daughter Ellie.  I'm trying to do a portrait of her.  I made it easier on myself by blowing up a decent photo and turning it into a black and white.  Then I used vellum to trace some of the basic structures of her face and made a "carbon" for myself by rubbing blue watercolor pencil on the back of the vellum.  I should've reversed the photo and then when I traced, I could've had pencil marks ready to transfer.  Live and learn!

The blue watercolor pencil did not transfer well but left enough of a mark for me to lift up the vellum, look, lay down my tracing, and then sketch over my blue marks with pencil.  (I had taped my image onto my canvas).  As much as I might feel like a purist at times, wanting to sketch just by looking instead of tracing a black and white copy, I just don't have the luxury of time to sketch these days.  I "cheated" with the sketch if you will, so I could just get to the painting!  Anyhoo, here's a shot of the vellum.  You'll see blue, read and graphite.  The blue is on the back (my carbon attempt) and the red was traced over to transfer the image and to let me know where I had already traced.  If I had used pencil over pencil, I'd be lost as far as what I needed to trace...make sense? 

Here's where I am now with the color photo to reference hair and shadows, etc.  I am still working on this and hope to finish this weekend.  I'll post more images as I go along.  It's a stretch for me since my portraits lately have crazy features!!  At some point in my artistic journey, I could sketch realistic faces easily and it felt very natural.  BUT if you don't sketch daily, portraiture is tedious.  If you LOVE painting realistic faces, sketch, sketch, sketch and paint, paint, paint!!!  It is extremely helpful in my view!

I've taken artistic liberty and prettied up the can't really tell but the canvas has a lot of texture.  I'll tell you more about that later.  It's something I've been experimenting with and you can get it at any hardware store!!!  Stay tuned for more info.

Happy painting ya'll!
miles of smiles from Texas to you!


  1. Megan you did a great job!
    I can see the texture and I love the background colors!!

    I bet your daughter loves it!!!

  2. very well done,megan...

  3. Anonymous4:43 PM

    hi Texas, it's Canada calling!

    i came over here from a comment you left on Janet's blog. You mention how you enjoyed looking at other artists studios...and I do too!

    what artist type doesn't, right!

    i'm featuring my studio in today's post...come by and have a look. I'm your newest follower..

    ciao bella
    nice work...i love painting my daughter too!
    your colours are fabulous, i've peeked around at some of your older posts on this entire page..and i like your style!

    creative carmelina

  4. Anonymous5:10 PM

    it's just a hallogen light you can purchase anywhere....Michael's craft store...or even Walmart...

    it's great as an added task light...
    but i don't know the brand name of it or anything like that...


    thanks for stopping in!

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina

  5. very nice job - especially considering the position she was in - looking down on her. She is beautiful, looks like her Mom!



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