Sculpting with Paint – Tiny Gouache Portraits

 

This week I did some solid painting practice.  I wanted to improve my ability to paint directly with no drawing and to render 3D shapes using the paint.  Since faces are such an odd and challenging shape I thought some portrait practice might be good.  I split up a piece of A4 watercolour paper (Hot Pressed) into 4 and taped each piece down…

 

Then I gave myself half an hour for each one.

I began by painting the mid tone and then the dark.  Then I added the light tone.  I made three tones for each colour and mixed and blended them on the paper.  I wanted a rougher look so I stuck to my restricted time which forced me to accept a lot of imperfections.  I tried to be very varied in my colour choices.

For the first sketch I used complemetary colours, orange and blue (my favourite combination)…

 

My second picture was more purple and yellow…

 

(I had the lady’s coat in purple too originally, but I found that it dissapeared into the background leaving me with a floating head(!) so I changed it to red.)  I find painting very smiley faces quite difficult but this lady looked so lovely and cheery that I couldn’t resist.

In my next picture I used analogous warm colours to give more restful effect as the lady in my reference photo looked like she was meditating…

 

For my last sketch I allowed myself to paint a Jedi!!!  I went with a more monochrome feel but in blue so the whole thing was quite cool…

 

I learned quite a bit from this exercise but it’s difficult to put what I learned into words.  It’s the kind of learning that stays in your hands and eyes and doesn’t really need language except if you try to write about it!

 

Days 71 to 72 – Facial Expressions, Encoding and Autism 2#2

My next plan was to make my own facial expression drawings based on Mark Crilley’s guidance but using my own made up Manga character.

Also, while working on this I was reading the early chapters of ‘Bakuman’ – a Manga series about two lads who decide to become Manga creators.

Bakuman Manga Cover
“Bakuman Manga Cover”

I got to the bit where the artist in the pair decides to work with nothing but a G-pen (which is a kind of dip pen with a nib very commonly used in manga called a G-nib.)  I thought this would be really cool to try.  So I had a dig around and found an old Italian dip pen and a flexible calligraphy nib which works well and very much like a G-nib.  Then I drew the sketches on Bristol Board (because the ‘Calli’ Calligraphy ink I’m using bleeds around each line in my notebook) and inked them with the dip pen.

This is my dip pen …

calligdippen

But the nib I’m using is not the one which came with this pen, it’s a modern calligraphy nib very similar to a G-nib…

mynib

 

At first it was really difficult to use the dip pen.  Line pressure needed to be controlled as well as direction.  My lines were noticably wobbly, they didn’t have a good shape and they took ages to dry.  Lucky for me there were twleve pictures to do, so I managed to have a good practice.

Here are the results…

Set one…

1to4of12facesfin_web

 

Here’s set two…

5to8of12facesfin_web

 

And here are the last four…

9to12of12facesfin_web

 

By the end of it I beginning to find my way into occasional good lines.  Even though I’m only beginning with this, I prefer the look of the dip pen lines to the multiliner.  The biggest problem I had overall with this method was that they took 2-3 hours to dry where the lines were thick.

Here’s a picture of the wet ink…

wet-ink

 

At the moment I can only really tell the following facial expressions – OK (plain face), angry (shouting), sad(crying) and happy(laughing).   I was going to look into the ones depicted rather simplistically in manga to see if I can learn to recognise a few more in real life.  However I’ve since found out that, for instance, the confused manga look isn’t that close to what most people do on their face when they are actually confused in life.  So I’ll just go on enjoying manga!