Here's the proof that I have not stopped painting nor forgotten my blog anniversary photo contest winners :) One of the paintings is now complete!
12 x 9" Watercolor on Lanaquarelle rough 140lb paper (actually, I forgot this was the rough paper, which isn't often used for portraits). As usual, I started with a sketch to decide on the composition and value - but I forgot to scan in the sketch : /.
Here, I already made the drawing and laid several layers down. Since this was a memorial portrait, I chose to stay away from the more expressive, impressionistic look that I've developed through A Portrait A Day.
I continued to model the form and began adding her makeup. It was quite interesting to see how the painting suddenly started looking like the reference photo, just because I darkened the eyelashes.
Lastly, I deepened the shadows, softened some edges, added more color throughout, and added blue to her clothes to echo the eyes a bit. I also got rid of most of the shadow on the side of her face (which was very dark in the reference photo but just didn't look right in a painting). I used a thin wash of acrylic gesso to cover the staining color I couldn't wash away. Scrubbing doesn't work very well on this paper, so it wasn't a real option.
The girl's parents were happy with the portrait...And I felt that it's the least I can offer to someone who's lost a child. I don't think I would be able to cope with something like that.
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