Thursday, August 14, 2014

Civil War Portrait from Life

I'd like to share one more sample clip from my new video "Watercolor in the Wild." I painted this portrait of Civil War reenactor John O'Brien, who is a member of the Salem Zouaves. I met him by chance at a steampunk festival in Waltham, Massachusetts. (Link to YouTube video)

I shot a lot of this episode in time lapse to suggest how a non-posed model in normal conversation will move around a lot. When I first started painting impromptu portraits, I found that movement disturbing, but now I've grown to like it so much that I have a harder time with a model that holds still.

Here are a couple things I didn't mention in the voiceover. The initial pencil lay-in is drawn with a reddish brown water-soluble colored pencil, which melts nicely when hit with water. I was actually using a sable brush dipped in water at this stage, not a water brush.

I'm using a Rublev historical set of colors. Mine was a custom set that I've since changed, but as best I can recall, it was (left column) Cobalt zinc blue, Nicosia Green Earth, Cobalt Yellow (Aureolin), French raw sienna, Italian Raw sienna, Indian raw sienna, and Van Dyke Brown. In the right column, I think it was Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, Venetian red, Indian red, and Italian Burnt Umber. I've since switched back to a more normal palette, closer to the Schmincke set.

Here's a super close-up to show how the red, yellow, and cream-white colored pencils look over the painted blue and the brush-pen black.

To learn more about the 72-minute video "Watercolor in the Wild":
HD download: (Credit Card) 
HD download: (Paypal) buy
DVD: (NTSC, Region 1) 

GJ Blog Post about Watercolor Materials

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I liked the film and it definitely helped me figure out a few of my sketching problems. I'd like to ask you about the choice of doing without frisket, is that simple personal preference?