Sunday, January 02, 2011

Study of Sarah in sunshine


I've had some images that I took back in August from a model who came out to the farm to pose for me.  Its only now that I'm starting to work with them and decide just where they're going and what I'm doing with them. Sarah had lovely titian hair and it glowed in the sun.  That combined with her pale Celtic colouring made it a perfect candidate for a little watercolour portrait practice today.


This is done on 140lb paper 5.5 x 8.5 inches.  I wanted to leave it loose and ensuer each layer of colour stayed translucent.   I'm not happy with the mouth.  I kept reworking it and it just won't do what I want it to do.  But for a study, it lets me see the colour range I can use in a main portrait.  Although the reference image doesn't have dramatic lights, I want to also intensify the contrast between light and shade to give a strong illusion of bright sun, as well as darkening the hair.

I just love how studies can be so useful!

10 comments:

RH Carpenter said...

Lovely work. Your watercolor portraits are beautiful and I think what appeals to me so much about them is your use of hard edges = letting the paint "blob" dry and using the edge of the dried paint to model the shapes in the face.

Christiane Kingsley said...

Excellent study! I especially like the sunlight that you have captured. I am looking forward to the full portrait that you will be painting - it should be stunning with an old world/old masters feel to it.

Hedera said...

In the second pic it looks as if the light on her face is reflected from water. A lovely effect...

Olivia said...

Jeanette, je peux juste dire que j'adore !!!

Jeanette said...

Rhonda, it can be hit and miss, depending on how much I'm paying attention to what I'm doing. Its always tempting to try to mix colours on the paper instead of just letting them sit there and dry.

Keeping my fingers crossed for the main piece Christiane. It never seems to be the same way twice, but at least I'm worked out the palette and some of the kinks first on a smaller scale.

Getting the light just right in bright sun can either work or not. I think I need more contrast in the main piece when I do it Hedera.

Merci Olivia!

A Brush with Color said...

Beautiful and luminous, Jeanette! I love reading what you are thinking as you compose each piece.

tracywall said...

As you know, I just love your watercolor studies. Love the sleepy expression in her eyes. :)

Wanda said...

This is just stunning,and reminds me of the work of Charles Reid.

Lovely!

Susan Liles said...

Lovely washes and colors, you achieved the appearance of sunshine across the face.

Sue Pownall (aka travelingsuep) said...

I think it's beautiful. I really like the colours you have used - you can tell she is in sunshine.