Portrait of the grandkids playing at the beach is commissioned by the Franks family. This was added after the initial five adults were painted so that the grandkids would be included too. For those of you who know me, this location/subject did not need to be researched to be able to paint it. These are the children of the first son named Nathan and his wife Nikki.
This first image shows the pencil sketch with both boys laid out sitting on the beach sand with their buckets, shovels and the waves in the background. There is some yellow mastik applied to the paper where I want to reserve the white areas of the paper.
The background wash of the waves and the sand around the figures is now complete.
The basic skins are laid in in light washes with some shadow to show shape. Colors on the swimming suite are placed carefully to save the highlight areas. The same with the sand buckets and shovels.
Eyes and faces are detailed with darker tones, shadows are darkened too. Opposite color wheel colors are chosen to shadow on the sand and in the water. Greens are added tot he tans of the sand. Red or orange is touched to the ocean water to bring it into shadow.
Three portraits of the Franks family, first the sons, one complete minus some minor details, second one is blocked in with background washes complete ready for detailed completion of the figure this afternoon. Third one, is of the couple and is sketched in with resist applied where I want to reserve the white areas on the paper.
The steps in this typical watercolor portrait commission for the Franks, starts with sketching from a portrait supplied for reference, then applying mastik or resist to reserve needed white areas on the watercolor paper.
On this image you can see the main areas of the portrait laid out with pencil lightly which I plan on erasing when done. Look for areas of yellow and that is where I am reserving white areas. When I use this mastik it makes it a lot easier to use loose strokes of full color as I paint and therefore making the process of painting a lot more enjoyable.
Now, you can see as I begin background watercolor washes around the outline of the man. I love the way that watercolor will bleed into different areas of wet paper where you have other colors. It seems almost magical to me.
The portrait is finally getting to where I can work on the characters skin tones. That begins with a watercolor wash in the skin tones area starting with yellows and adding reds as a base, then blues for shadow.
At the same time I want to start with the shadows on his shirt. The highlights and shadows start to show the shapes in the t-shirt. Isn’t it great to start to see the 3D effect happening? I like to see things begin to bend and become round in front of my eyes by simply using colors.