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painting process

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Commission Portrait

Recently I was commissioned to do this portrait. On the left is the reference photo I was given to work from and on the right is the resulting image. I was told that her favorite colors are pink and fall colors. I think pink stuck in my head. It doesn't hurt that it is one of my favorite colors. Looking back on it I see this as a great learning experience in technique. I have been experimenting with watercolor, india ink and acrylic.

Below is a series of images that walk through the process. The preparation of the surface is the most crucial part of the process so far. It will be apparent in the next fashion illustration how the watercolor reacts differently to the substrate.

The painting is on gessoed 1/8th inch masonite board (hard-board). I buy the board from Home Depot in 48x96" sheets and have them cut down to 18x24.

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Fashion Illustration… George Kamau

Special thanks to George Kamau for allowing me to use him as model for this illustration.

This is the second in the series of my new passion- though this calls for a drumroll I will not wait for your hands to start slapping your knees-

Fashion Illustration!

The process is one I stole from a verbal explanation of the artist Sterling Hundley's process (his outlandishly fantastic and award winning work here). There was an appropriate amount of hand waving and gesticulating so I was able to get the gist of it all. My good friend Caleb Morris (his amazing and ground-breaking work found here) was fortunate to receive a portrait of himself done by Mr. Hundley in demonstration.

I gleaned all that I could from Caleb's exuberant explanations and adapted what I learned to what I could make my hands comprehend.

It begins with a glaze of Acrylic for the foundation.

Afterward I draw a sketch with pencil.

Over the pencil drawing I ink in the appropriate amount of black with waterproof india ink.

Then comes the exciting part- and where the process pictures begin below-, I cover large areas with washes of watercolor. Since the base of the substrate is acrylic the water has nothing in which to soak. This leaves the wash open to perpetual changes. Also the pigment in the watercolor is searching for a place to settle while the water is evaporating, creating beautiful iterations and watermarks.

Highlights are pulled out by applying white acrylics over the watercolor.

Lastly I will go back into the black areas with fresh india ink to re-establish the darkest darks.

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