318 Portrait of Tom Waits

2015-01-21a
Here’s the original

I’m not fully sure what to say about this one – I keep thinking that I’m not using my watercolors “right” – they’re way too precise, and it’s as if i “write” them in stead of “draw” them (or paint them or whatever) – so i wanted to try something looser. I really prefer watercolor very loose, but it have a hard time getting good results with it.
So i tried just “attacking” without thinking too much about it.. I haven’t been that “careful” in making everything smooth and nice, and the colors and shapes are more impressions than they’re correct readings of of reference photo.. I think it’s clear that I don’t have much experience with this spontaneous approach, but on the other hand, it’s not all that bad either.I could definitely see my self continuing evolving a “looser” watercolor hand. (Why did i do the hat so big?)

Does anyone have any tips to using BLACK in watercolor? I’ve heard that many watercolor painters never use the “pure” black, but always mix colors that give a nice, dark hue that “reminds” one of black.. I think that the blacks i use do a lot of damage in my drawings and it could be nice to have an idea of other ways of approaching this.

Yup – and finally.. Everybody seems to enjoy my pencil drawings much more than my watercolors. I get that! I feel quite good each time I do a pencil drawing after a streak of watercolor, because they’re just so much nicer than what i can muster up in WC.. I do want to get better with the watercolors, though, so I’ll keep doing it, but I’ll try and fit in some pencil drawings a little more often in the future !

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30 thoughts on “318 Portrait of Tom Waits”

  1. I think this is a really lovely painting. I think you’ve been kind to Waits and given him botox to smooth out his skin but I think it works as a painting. Don’t be too hard on yourself – I am a hypocrite in this regard – and don’t get too hung up on likeness. My best life drawings were never accurate likenesses of the model in terms of facial portraits. As for the black, I use it very sparingly – often just for the pupils of the eyes or for dark shadows in dark clothing. I tend to use dark blues, greens and browns instead.

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  2. I do mix black with colors, but I almost always use pure black as well. I think contrast is important. Watercolor is a challenge, and there are many different ways to do it. I myself keep trying out different approaches, and why not?
    This is definitely a different look from your more detailed work, but I like it. Although I also love your other watercolor approach; I wouldn’t reject it and only do something else. You’re the artist: you don’t have to make everything look the same.

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  3. I think your watercolors are just as enjoyable your drawings. ๐Ÿ™‚ Each has their own unique charm which gives them visual interest and definitely keeps us coming back to see more.

    Reply
  4. I think your watercolors are just as enjoyable your drawings. ๐Ÿ™‚ Each has their own unique charm which gives them visual interest and definitely keeps us coming back to see more.

    Reply
  5. Personally I like your watercolours better than the pencils! I think you’ve come on so quickly with them, and this piece is no exception. There’s a depth of focus where on the outer edges you have a mix of loose strokes and impressionistic dabbing, and then realism in the eyes. This draws the user’s focus to his eyes, which are really powerful. It’s more dynamic than your previous paintings, that I’ve seen anyway, keep it up!
    In regards to black, never listen to those who say never ๐Ÿ™‚
    I sometimes use pure black when I want to create a more abstract or illustrative feel, not so often if I want a traditional result. I use it where I want high contrast, so usually where I want the focus to be, and I don’t mix it with other colours (so it stands out as a graphical element). It’s a tool in your arsenal anyway, and it’s worth a try if you want to explore different styles.

    Reply
    • Hi!
      Thanks, I’m glad you like them. Especially the last one was a bit of an experiment. I just did another one, that I’ll be posting in a few minutes (another watercolor experiment) Yes i know! If you were to listen to all advice given, you’re better off just lean back and turn on the tv. When talking about creativity there are no rights and no wrongs.. But I’d like to explore this concept of “no blacks” as well as I’d like to try it as a graphical element.. I’m only four months in, so I’m not in a hurry to settle down with my favoritism style !

      Reply
  6. Personally I like your watercolours better than the pencils! I think you’ve come on so quickly with them, and this piece is no exception. There’s a depth of focus where on the outer edges you have a mix of loose strokes and impressionistic dabbing, and then realism in the eyes. This draws the user’s focus to his eyes, which are really powerful. It’s more dynamic than your previous paintings, that I’ve seen anyway, keep it up!
    In regards to black, never listen to those who say never ๐Ÿ™‚
    I sometimes use pure black when I want to create a more abstract or illustrative feel, not so often if I want a traditional result. I use it where I want high contrast, so usually where I want the focus to be, and I don’t mix it with other colours (so it stands out as a graphical element). It’s a tool in your arsenal anyway, and it’s worth a try if you want to explore different styles.

    Reply
    • Hi!
      Thanks, I’m glad you like them. Especially the last one was a bit of an experiment. I just did another one, that I’ll be posting in a few minutes (another watercolor experiment) Yes i know! If you were to listen to all advice given, you’re better off just lean back and turn on the tv. When talking about creativity there are no rights and no wrongs.. But I’d like to explore this concept of “no blacks” as well as I’d like to try it as a graphical element.. I’m only four months in, so I’m not in a hurry to settle down with my favoritism style !

      Reply
  7. Try loosening up before you do the real art piece next time. It takes a lot of practice to be able to just approach with an immediate attack. And, honestly, even after years of experience, loosening up is always a positive seen in the work. Also, watercolor is extremely unforgiving. Thought about trying acrylic? Lots of room for mistakes there. Keep up the good work, you’re doing well

    Reply
  8. Try loosening up before you do the real art piece next time. It takes a lot of practice to be able to just approach with an immediate attack. And, honestly, even after years of experience, loosening up is always a positive seen in the work. Also, watercolor is extremely unforgiving. Thought about trying acrylic? Lots of room for mistakes there. Keep up the good work, you’re doing well

    Reply

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