Sunday, June 13, 2010

Painting Jon, Mr Charmer…4 yrs old

continuing with the 2nd part of triptych of sons …..link to portrait of Julian and link to portrait of Justin

Finishing first draft of Jon below was easy enough~

It was when trying to paint Jon's minute facial expressions, I got sooooo frustrated !
Indeed I was stuck in a conundrum for 3 days, editing and reediting….. to the extent
I almost trashed my work into the dustbin. No matter what I did, yet it just didnt look quite kosher!
But I remembered mum's pantang of ever throwing away any photos of loved ones and I sayang all the hours already spent on the art piece .
So I thought I would give it another try after researching on line to see if there were anything that maybe would light up an eureka bell in my head!





Problem 1:
The proportions/position of Jon's eyes was totally not right….showing him last night, he said I made him look like a Korean boy….well, I dont know what nationality but it wasnt a kiddo I recognized either !

Problem 2:
The skin tone was off…..one thing I have learnt, it is so much easier to paint a suntanned skin because the pigment of burnt sienna almost always get Asian skin perfect!. For fairer Jon I tried to add a tinge of crimson, a tinge of red , yellow ochre…. no, not the right shade~ then adding just a dash of burnt sienna and still he didnt look healthy , OMG…..

I decided to leave the eyes /skin tone aside, go on to finish the shadings on the teeshirt/hair and the textures of the foliage background instead.
Rather than repeat another even wash background which I, ehem had perfected :P, hahaha…..I wanted to try something else…..and started to attempt a subtle image of garden with suggestions of grass and vague images of trees..
Along the way, it struck me that the composition would turn out much better if the foliage/grass was painted in detail rather than blurry color nuances of trees .

Just because I had not learnt it yet in class does not mean I should not experiment right? If there is a better way to do this….I'm sure to find out in class next week , hah I can still correct my work ~

Meanwhile today was a masochistic trial as I ended up almost painting every blade of grass/leaf inch by inch….oui.
Notwithstanding my clumsy effort, hey I rather like what I did ….. my garden background looked more refreshing and perked up !

The detailed background did not subtract from the main focus….

Overall I felt it added some depth to Jon and made my painting more dimensional , which should be good, hmmmm?

Yes :)))))

I definitely want to do more such detailed backgrounds for future portraits~

And yeah ….How did I get around to overcome my 2 initial problems ?

Addressing problem 1:
Well I redid Jon's eyes using what Craig Nelson taught in his DVD lesson~ the technique of getting proportions/gestures relatively correct thru using plum lines and checking for angles via simple alignment of 2 landmarks using his pencil!

Jon's left eye just needed to be reduced a tad smaller and his right eye needed to be brought down lower so as to be inline at a correct slanting angle with the left eye.

WoW…..so simple, so common sense and bingo!!!

Luckily I had no problems to wash off my original 2B pencil mark with its earlier wrong proportions/positions in spite of the many layers of watercolors ….
Thats what I love about watercolors….it is so versatile!!

Repainting my fresh lines, I quickly experienced an AHA moment because with those tiny adjustments, wow…..I could definitely see some semblance and recognize my sweet boy looking right back at me as I remember him, aged 4 yrs….aaah, brings back great memories of those happy days~~

Enjoy and happy learning everyone!

Addressing problem 2 :
After waiting for the skin colors to dry , I then added an overall very diluted wash of vermillion over the skin areas ……viola, now Jon looks ala naturale .

Well….readers, my friends, my sons…...What do you think ?


11.5" x15.5" on 200 gms cold press
Title: Jon, 4 yrs MR FASHIONABLE
© michellechoong_khoo

Presenting Jon above in watercolor…..
My darling, the kiddo ~ a polished Mr Charmer…. complete with an added sunglass in his little chubby hand~~

On hindsight, I should have drawn the Louis Vuitton designer shades that he showed me on his 3G iphone yesterday…..oh , I shall do that when I paint the future triptych sons' series, aged 10yrs!

Asking Eddie as he came home from golf awhile ago : "Well, is this better, did I nail it?"

Hahahaha, I am happy like a sotong (octopus) with his verdict : "Boleh tahan la"……

Even if it was out of the goodness of his heart being in a great mood on Happy Father's Day or if he did indeed literally meant "can stand"…..hohoho, I am singing like a lark in the shower !

After which, woo hoooooo…..time to go onto working at completing the 3rd panel , which is of Justin, aged 4 yrs ❤❤❤

to see all 3 panels together, link 1st triptych







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