As I continue my portrait series, my goal for the project is to create art inspired by the people I know. The first portrait I created was in pastel pencil and watercolor. A New Day is a portrait of Lisa at a Lake Huron beach. The second portrait, Bill’s World is a watercolor and pastel of my father fishing one of his favorite spots near Lake City, Michigan.
For this new portrait, I decided to go with a selfie that I took of myself. I tried to make it as simple as possible, focusing on my features including all my wrinkles, sloppy clothing and free of makeup. When I began the project, I was inspired by Andrew Wyeth and his realistic style. The subject of his paintings are people in settings that surrounded him.
Like myself, Andrew Wyeth came from a family of artists. With the addition working in the realistic style, that is probably where the comparison ends. It’s not my intent to attempt the precision he used in his art, but to simply choose subjects I know in settings I see every day in the spirit of his work.
Here is a snapshot of my current progress. There are many things left to fix and finishing, notably the right eye, more shading on the shirt and the blank spaces (the list goes on). I will post an update with the completed work in the future. I’ve been using Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground to fix my happy mistakes, and it’s been a helpful product. One of the reasons I moved to canvas was to have the freedom to rework the surface easier when compared to paper. The watercolor ground and random gel pens have been a gamechanger for my portrait series.
I intended on making this a color pencil piece, but after seeing how long it was taking to lay down color, I have opted to fill in large areas with alcohol markers and apply color pencil on top.
The softness of the color pencil was perfect for hair and in the places I want the solid areas to shine. Fabric textures and highlights have been ideal for the color pencils thus far. I have yet to add any watercolor pencils, watercolor paint or pastel to this artwork, but as I like to mix things up, I can’t rule it out!
I’ve posted 5 videos on my YouTube channel showing the beginning process of the work. I began creating videos of my work as a way to demonstrate how I create art. Part 1 is below, and each video covers the entire process. In the future, I probably will just go with the highlights. If you have any questions about my work, have an idea for my next art work, feel free to comment or send my a message.