Sunday, June 13, 2010

Painting Jon, Mr Charmer…4 yrs old

continuing with the 2nd part of triptych of sons … 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… 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… 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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