Latest Posts 

Muse: Kennedy Givens
The Blue Portrait, 9x12 in. Acrylic on Paper, #PortraitswithKarl, Karl Staubon Sktchy App

Day 17 of the #100daysofSketchbookPractice I'm on Lesson 6 of #PortraitswithKarl (Karl Staub) on Sktchy app. I started by painting the paper with a layer of Anthroquinone Blue, then I transferred my drawing of Kennedy on top. I gradually added lighter values of Anthro Blue, Ultra Blue, Cerulean Blue and Titanium White to create the form and define the shadows.

I experimented with holding my brushes in different ways and in a variety of angles, just to see what kinds of brush marks I could make. I like layering tiles of paint on top of each other - it adds a layer of depth. I also like the looser and spontaneous feeling - I mixed as I needed to and I didn't overmix the paint. I used fairly large brushes and I worked quickly. The acrylic paint dries pretty quick so I felt like it was a race to mix a color and add it on before it dried up. I kept myself to 3 strokes or less before I mixed another color.

I lost a little bit of the likeness. But... I could probably do this again and get it closer to the original muse. I am thinking about painting larger - the 9x12 size is good, but I feel like I want to use my whole body when I paint.

9x12 acrylic portrait on paper
Day 16 Finished Acrylic Portrait of Jan

I love color. Today's sketchbook practice feels so free and fun and luscious and a little weird and uncomfortable at the same time. Part of me feels like this is a very messy badly painted portrait, with unblended and sloppy edges. But another part of me loves the bright colors and the combination of thick and thin paint. It's definitely not boring or expected.

And compare how much this portrait changed from what I did last night.

Day 16 My Muse Jan from Sktchy App and My Portrait

I practice laying muted dark colors of acrylic paint first: Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Naples Yellow. Then gradually introduced wilder colors - Quinacradone Magenta, Magenta, Cerulean Blue, Medium Violet, and white to increase the color saturation and the value.

I tried a couple of different brush shapes and sizes - brights, filters, rounds. I prefer using the brights to chisel the larger planes of the face and using small rounds for details in the eyes, nose, and mouth. I also mixed a black this time using Burnt Umber, Cerulean Blue and Quin Magenta.

The mixed media paper in my Strathmore Visual Journal absorbed so much water and paint, I felt like I had to consciously add thicker saturated layers of paint to make it stay true to the color instead of fading into a duller version of itself. Acrylic paint noticeably dries so faster than the gouache and it doesn't reactivate after its dry. If you want to fix something, you can add another layer of paint to cover it up.

I will try some other substrates - canvas, wood panel, hardboard and see how I feel. I think that building up the layers will work better for me if I use a harder surface.