This is a portrait commission that I just began a couple days ago. The client sent this precious photo of mother and child. The only problem was that some of the information was missing - the top of the head and the side of the arm, which they indicated thru a line drawing.
Working on a 9" x 12" aquaboard, I lightly sketched the two figures using a soft purple watercolor paencil.
I slowly added washes of color to define the major shapes and shadows, also allowing some of these shapes to overlap - such as the dark shadows in the hair, where the edges are lost in the photograph as well.
I am really liking the amount of flexibilty I have with the Aquaboard. I am able to "erase" a dry area with a little water and a stiff brush - such as the highlight on the baby's profile.
There are a few challenges that I am working on. One is the minimal amount of information in the mother's face - just the tip of the nose and a little bit of the chin. The other is the strong cast shadow that was created by the flash when the photo was shot. I want to minimize the dark shadow line on the figures, while still giving them shape.
I am very pleased with all of the color I picked up in her hair and look forward to bringing more color into her shirt...white drapery can have so many wonderful colors in the folds!
And of course, finding time to paint isn't always easy! That afternoon my son Jack was right next to me, trying out every one of my watercolor pencils. (Note to self: close pantry door BEFORE taking photos!)