Friday, November 30, 2012

Nubian 2

Nubian 2, watercolor on arches cp paper, 30 x 40 cm
This is a new version on a subject that I painted once last year - a Nubian boat sailor from a photo I took in Aswan a few years ago. I am quite happy with this version, but it took me a number of attempts to produce it.

First, I decided to revisit Charles Reid's instructions on painting dark complexions. "Try to mix colors on the paper", "for dark colors do not make your colors very watery", "paint the whole face in one wash on dry paper"... Armed with these advices and without giving it much thought I grabbed the brushes. With the non-watery color mix on a relatively large size drawing no matter how fast I was trying to work, the edges were drying faster. I ended up with some interesting and spontaneous color effects, but overall the face color looked muddy and overdone.

A few days later I decided to try doing several small and quick sketches of this face, using the same technique. The sketch below was the most successful one of them.I quite liked the expression of that face too, so I decided to do another larger painting based on it. Only this time I did it in two more carefully planned washes, one with the lighter colors and the second with the darker. The lesson I learned from this experience is that I should not take the masters' advices literally, but rather should adapt them to my level of experience and to my style.  And, better start small when trying new approaches.
Nubian - sketch, 14 x 14 cm

Monday, November 19, 2012

The sandal maker

The sandal maker, watercolor on Arches cp paper, 30 x 40 cm
This portrait is based on a photograph of an ancient sandal-maker (yes, ancient, just keep reading...), which I took last spring during a re-enactment at Ephesus. I like his face and his expression so much that I think I will use this photo again. It can turn into a  wise man, a Sea-wolf, or even Santa.

I like some aspects of the above painting, but I feel that the beard turned a bit flat - another reason to try it again some time.

Below is my original pencil sketch, which I then turned into the watercolor becide it. This one looks more dimensional, maybe thanks to the pencil under the paint, or perhaps because it was a sketch and I felt no pressure.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


The puffball, arches cp 30 x 40 cm
A dandelion puff-ball may be an annoying weed for some, but it is a precious discovery for others...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Blanket of Snow 2

Blanket of Snow 2, Arches HP, 28 x 34 cm
This is a second version of a scene that I tried painting more than a year ago. I used the remaining piece of hot-pressed paper, which accounts for the unpleasant spotty effects in the sky. Apart from that, I'm quite happy with the way it turned out - way simpler and looser than the first version and more dimensional too.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A little yellow flower

A little yellow flower, Arches CP 30 x 40  cm

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Me and My Shadow

Me and My Shadow, Arches CP paper 30 x 40 cm
Inspired by one of the tens of pictures of my little niece I took last spring. Her name is Sandy, but she is not furious and destructive... most of the time :)

pencil sketch, 12 x 17 cm