Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hair Painting Tutorial

In my last post about Sister Painting II, I said I would get into the details of how I painted their hair.  I found an interesting way to do it, so I thought I would share.

The painting itself is fairly large (20"x24" is large to me, anyway!), but the figures themselves were small.  I knew my friend loved the intricate hairstyles with braids and flowers, and that was going to be pretty detailed. I really wasn't sure how I was going to tackle that, so I just dove in and found a way through trial and error. I was originally just painting the hair medium brown and trying to add the dark and light highlights separately, but being so small, any detail was getting totally lost and didn't look good.

I realized it's much easier to paint on a light surface, so I painted all the braids and highlights white and then slowly added in the darkest details and shadows on the braids. I left the lightest parts white, because I was going to go over it with a glaze, later.  I also painted highlights and shadows where there were no small details.

After the darks were all put in place, they reminded me a lot of lino cuts or woodblock prints, and I thought that was pretty cool.  

I then glazed over the white with a few transparent coats of lighter brown, so the hair would have highlights and show off all the intricate braids.  It ended up that the girls in the painting have a little lighter hair than they do in real life, but that's artistic license ;-) I know my friend really loved the braided styles, and her sisters all wore their hair in styles like this for her wedding, so it was important to showcase it.

The fourth sister, the girl with the lose, flowing hair, I don't have a lot of in progress shots. Hers was very simple and I used a similar technique, painted the lightest sections white, filled in all the darks, then glazed over with lighter brown at the end. 

 For the final details, I put flowers in all their hair. 

Hope you enjoyed!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Next Sister Painting

I've finally completed a belated wedding gift for my best friend's sister (who was married in June of last year).  When my BFF got married in 2011, I did a painting for her wedding gift.  It was a painting she had seen when we were together somewhere and it stopped her in her tracks. I later went back and photographed it and decided to paint it for her.  It was a scene of four girls in Victorian/Edwardian dress on a beach facing away towards the water with a little dog and sailboats in the distance.  I modified it slightly to personalize it.  My friend has three sisters, so the four girls were perfect.  I had all the dresses be the girls favorite colors, which most already were and only changed one dress from a pinkish orange to yellow. I also took out the original little dog and put their two border collies in.  My friend was marrying an engineer who works on an "articulated tug and barge" so I put it in the water among the sailboats, so he could be part of the painting as well.  I don't know the original artist, as I couldn't read the signature on the painting. I tried google and found similar artwork which was probably the same artist, but never found that painting. Here is my version.  Acrylic on canvas, 12"x24" 

 My friend and her family all loved this, and when her sister got married this past year, she really wanted a "sister painting" also, but set in a nature, garden setting with lots of flowers.  Her wedding reception was in their back yard with lots of beautiful flowers everywhere, lights and lanterns in the trees, very earthy and pretty. 

This painting was going to be more of a challenge, because I wasn't copying from something else and I had to make the whole thing up myself. I used countless references I found online and my own photos and mashed it all up into one (hopefully) cohesive composition. 

Sister Painting II, acrylic on canvas, 20"x24".  I put the two border collies back in here and my BFF's cat she got last year.  I have the dogs chasing a rabbit, but don't worry, the rabbit gets away. ;-)  Of all the references I used, I never copied any of them exactly, even from my own photos.  It all just kind of evolved on its own.  

 This girl is my best friend, since her favorite color is pink and she is standing my her little kitty who is swatting at some fish in the pond. She is the oldest, and the matriarch of her family. 

This is the next youngest sister, the one I did the
painting for.

The third sister, who I actually had to model for, since I could not find a reference that had exactly what I wanted.  The hair though, is not mine. ;-)

The youngest and the tomboy of the family, which is why she doesn't have a fancy hairstyle like the rest. ;-) I think she may actually be my favorite girl here. I love the way she is sitting, I love the way her hair is flowing and the strap carelessly falling off her shoulder.  She might show up in some other artwork later on. ;-)

Hope you enjoyed!  I actually really love the hairstyles on the girls, and the 3 girls with the intricate styles were a bit of a challenge and I found an interesting way to paint it.  I'll save that for another post. :)

Latest Wedding Gown Drawing.

I was just back home for a couple of weeks, and my friend's mother asked me to do her new daughter-in-law's wedding dress. 

9"x12" white pencil on black paper.  My favorite part of this dress was drawing the train. I really enjoy drawing folds in the material and the subtle shadowing.  It gives me a lot of satisfaction. :) 

I'm still working on getting my Etsy Shop, PataraRose, off the ground.  If you're interested in a drawing for yourself, a friend, sister-in-law, sister, etc, please check out my shop! I also do watercolor paintings of bouquets, because I really love to draw and paint flowers the most :) 

Thanks for looking!