Monday, January 11, 2010

Portrait Swap - Fresh Start

I restarted my portrait of Claire, so here is an update. My picture was taken at a bad angle, I should have put it on the easle and took a straighter shot. But it's not the final, so I guess it's not that big a deal.

I find that I am actually afraid to touch it with the stencil brush, because my last attempt at her portrait was not fixable because of the blending. If I don't blend this one, then I can't possibly ruin it. I do see some changes that I want to make to it. And considering I can easily lift color with sticky tack, that shouldn't be a huge problem.

Trying to decide if I want to do the paisley design on her shirt, or just make it solid blue. Also not sure if I want to go lighter on the background or not.

So far, I'm pretty happy with how this one is coming along. I do wish I had more daylight hours to work with. I am going to try to bring it to work with me tomorrow to work on it during lunch. I will try to get a better picture of it for the next update.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Portrait Swap Disaster!

When I started this blog, I said you'd see my failures as well as my, as promised, here is a portrait that I messed up on.

The photograph actually looks better than the real thing. Here's my excuse for messing it up. If you take a look at my website, you will see that I am used to brightly lit subjects. Shadows are not something I have that much experience with. Shadows are hard to get sometimes, without making the colors look muddy. So what I've succeeded in here, is making my subject look like a battered woman. I'm sorry, Claire!

I had to put Claire on the back burner for a few weeks while I took care of some wedding planning, and holiday stuff. But now I'm back to complete her portrait. I tried to lift the color off of this portrait, and it doesn't seem to want to come up. That's because I blended it pretty good with a stencil brush. I could probably get it all off, if I wanted to make Claire wait a year or two! lol.

Claire went ahead and sent me some new photos of herself, without shadows, incase I wanted to try a new picture when I start over. I'm taking her up on that, ONLY BECAUSE, I'm still so busy with wedding planning, and I don't want to make her wait much longer while I fiddle with a new skill. I'll work on the shadow challenge another time. Maybe re-read Ann Kullberg's Colored Pencil Portraits again before I make a go of it. For now, I will stick with a reference that she sent without shadows, so that I can get it done in a timely manner and ship it to her asap.

In the next couple of days, I will post my start on the second attempt at Claire's portrait. And eventually, probably after my wedding, I will revisit the original reference with shadow and see if I can do better.

In fact, improving my art, and blogging more often are goals for 2010. So off I go, and I wish you all a very happy, creative and productive 2010!