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#OneWeek100People2019 Day Three: Going Direct

April 10, 2019


Ok – got some life-stuff out of the way this morning, and we’re back in the studio.

I decide to return to the selfies with open with some ABSORBED LINE.

That is, sketching in line with a pointed round, then, immediately, absorbing the line into a blocked-in shadow shape.

Work fast, and the lines you enclose will vanish completely into the larger wash.

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_01 (1)#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_01 (2)

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_03 (1)b

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_02 (1)#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_02 (2)

This third one is working for me. Probably my favorite so far.  What do I like?

  • Sketch looks like George Takei.
  • The background bleed into the shoulders is just right. (Luck + adjusting the tilt).
  • Underlying head shape is a simple abstract blob that captures the light with reserved white. I like the cooling of the side planes and the wet-in-wet implications of beard stubble.
  • The rich red strokes thrown into the wet in wet have bled nicely. You need a jelly consistency to get nice strokes like this. I’m using cadmium red for the first time in years, (want to get rid of an old tube). It’s a dense color, feels quite opaque for a watercolor.

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_04 (1)

Here’s a better shot at an underlying head shape. I looks totally wrong without the eyebrows :) but you can’t put them (or the beard) in too soon or the darker hair will bleed too much. I also want this as wet as possible so the warm and cool stuff can merge nicely. It’s 100% instinct. I’m just dropping color according to what I see, looking to make the head feel dimensional just with planes of color.

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_04 (2)

After I’ve hit the wet head-shape with the hair dryer, I can just draw in all the darks with honey-er mixes. These days I’m not drying it bone-dry before I start back in. That way the second pass has a very slight chance of blending in.

This is the one I would use on my Tinder profile.

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_05 (2)b

One more time. Egg Head to Selfie.

#5 for the day – and I’m sort of remembering how watercolor works. The egg-head actually looks dimensional hey? If you can get that volume into the base shape, then you know it’s going to work out in the final.

So, that’s a good likeness. It’s a clean sketch, well executed. But – I’m still underwhelmed. It’s not very interesting. Just a boring snapshot of me.

It’s like – the ones I find exciting and the ones I find accurate – it’s never going to be the same ones. Alas.

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_06 (2)b

#6: Got a little frustrated with the blandness, so did another Destruction Test. How much water can I throw on? How much black (neutral tint) can I slather on the background?

Apparently a lot.

But, a thick coat of paint can be lifted-out with a wet brush. And even that dripping head eventually dries. Eventually, I can pull out a few details with honey-mixes.

This is an inconclusive test. It’s interesting. But it’s not really a portrait is it? It’s sort of faux psychological – the appearance of a moody image, but it’s fake – because any mood it projects is just an accident of the process.

I do, however, enjoy the textures that show up from all the overworking.

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_06 Textures (4)Grid

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_07 (1)

Ok! So apparently seven selfies a day is a comfortable number. After dinner, I went back for one more simple one. Just a classic water-sketch.

It’s day three of #OneWeekOneHundredPeople2019 and Old Man Holmes says, “Goodnight Folks!”

#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_07 (2)#OneWeek100People_Selfies_DrawWet_07 (3)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. melanie permalink
    April 10, 2019 12:43 PM

    Looks just like you! I always enjoy seeing your work!

  2. April 10, 2019 12:45 PM

    These are very cool. I enjoyed yesterday’s, too.

  3. Neil Barton permalink
    April 10, 2019 1:21 PM

    I really like 7 & 9 from the very 1st one, theyare both excellent

  4. miatagrrl permalink
    April 10, 2019 11:48 PM

    Today I decided to study the motion of walking, so I sketched at the mall. Mostly I did people walking by because that’s the most challenging, trying to capture where the body weight is, the angle of the foot as it flexes, etc. But I also did some of people walking toward or away from me, with the challenge being how to keep them from looking like they were just standing still. But as I was doing this, I suddenly recalled your workshop in Barcelona in the middle of Las Ramblas when you said that if you start sketching someone in the distance walking toward you, you have several seconds to work on them. Got quite a few that way! ;-) Love the hair in the destruction test!

    – Tina

    • April 11, 2019 10:51 AM

      That was a fun day in Barcelona. I found that trip exhausting but so rewarding. I love it when I hear about people finding little projects to help self train. I think this is the core of who is successful and who flounders. The old 10 thousand-hour rule talks about how practice must be at the edge of your ability in order to give the best results. So many artists end up making what they’re good at over and over.

  5. Joan permalink
    April 11, 2019 5:57 PM

    You are such and inspiration to me…I decided to sketch you before your beard. I looked at a Craftsy class. Thank you for all that you do. I’m still in the challenge…even though I’m a beginner.

  6. April 22, 2019 10:48 AM

    thanks for sharing your steps…beautiful work!

  7. Jacqui isensee permalink
    June 17, 2019 2:37 PM


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