Thursday, April 15, 2010

Custom Watercolor Portrait from a photograph. Commission work in progress.

I am in one of those happy-busy places right many great projects to work on I can hardly pick what to draw when I finally find myself with some time in the studio!

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!)

You can see more of my Custom Portrait samples in my Fine Art on Etsy shop!


Christina Vollstedt said...

I love the way the work is coming so far. It appears to me that you are definitely on the right track.

Works by Ariegaw said...

Hello, I'm glad to have found your art on Etsy and think your blog is awesome!
I'm a fellow artist and jewelry maker.
Really loved your share on advertizing. I am trying out some advertizing myself on facebook. I will favorite your facebook and blog.

Lrc said...

Its shaping up wonderfully! I love the definition on the highlight on the baby's face and the colors blending into one another.

Krystyna81 said...

Thanks for all the positive feedback! My son always says "that looks great, mom!" But he's 5 and not tall enough to reach the cookies by himself, so I'm can't always trust his opinion :)

I've worked on it more! I'll take new photos and post soon.

Robin Pedrero said...

I see u in his face! I like how you shared the works of the composition and addition to the supplied photo.Lovely work, as always!