Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 3: Watercolor Portrait Workshop with Mary Helen Wallace

On day 3 I came with the goal to move on and try a different portrait then I had done the past 2 days. I choose to do an elderly gentleman with a sparkle in his eye. I felt I could learn skin tone, hair and glasses with this portrait.

Mary Helen's demo was on background and tips. She even gave us a hand out called Mary Helen's List. The list is random, but full of great advice.

  • Dark behind light brings light forward
  • When in doubt, bleed off
  • Neutrals bring out the best in brights
  • Cross the color wheel to get neutrals
  • Value is the most important part in composition
  • Paint what you know, or research
  • Your painting is only as good as your drawing
  • Balance your painting and counter balance it with color, value, shape, direction, volume and moxie (i.e. guts)
  • Use uneven numbers in subject matter
  • Layer as little as possible
  • Don't over stir your colors
  • Simplify!
  • Don't fear extremes. EXPLORE!
  • Try to paint EVERYDAY!
  • Have a private place (even if it is a closet) to always have your painting gear ready
  • Try wet on wet paper
  • Try new colors
  • Try large flat brushes
  • Never put your subject dead center
  • Use 2H pencil to draft your painting, but draw lightly
  • Use a sot eraser (white plastic) to take away all un-necessary lines
  • Explore - think outside of the box
  • Really look at your environment both near and far
  • Turn your painting upside down and look at your composition
So using my list I got to work and was amazed that I got the portrait almost finished. I have never worked so fast on any painting to date!

My gentleman does not look stylized. I feel that his face has the feel of curves and skin tone is appropriate. Hair look like hair. The glasses are a little wonky, but you can tell they are on his face. The background is interesting. I am very happy on how the painting has turned out.

Now to apply everything I learned and do them on my own :)


The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” 
Alberto Giacometti 


Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Wow, this is a wonderful portrait.
I think one of the things I really appreciate is the use of color ... it all comes together perfectly. Great job.

debwardart said...

First, so glad you are taking time to paint again! Then, looks like you really have learned something in the 3 days - wonderful job!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gaylynn, I was so happy to see this. I'm Sharon's friend, the one who came in on Day 3 of your workshop to say Hi. I'm printing this out for MaryHelen. She told me about it yesterday. She'll love it. SO DO I. Regards, Jan Pastor

Related Posts with Thumbnails