After so many days of trying to shake myself out of the watercolor-portrait block, I finally managed to finish a good one. This time around though I made a note of everything that I did to make the portrait, so that the next time I need a push, I don't end up with 'I'm not sure' as an excuse.
I am going to mention every bit of a thing that I did to make the portrait.
1. I checked up online to see if there were any simple tutorials for portrait painting. There are quite a few! And they are pretty good at the explanation. The only thing that they differ in is the color pallette that each of them uses. And probably a few steps here and there.. More or less, things explained remain the same.
2. I went over my previous portrait (yeah, the one which I drew of myself!). I stared at it for quite a few hours - off and on; trying to see why sometimes I felt it was just fabulous and sometimes that it wasn't at all like what I had imagined it to be! Yeah, I felt that there was a lot of unnecessary blues that cropped up at many odd places! I took a pen and paper and made whatever little notes that I could make. I regretted not making these notes while I was painting that portrait!
3. I had decided pretty long back that the next portrait was going to be of Tanush's; so the block kind of stopped me from trying any other portraits as well! I missed Julia Kay's Portrait Party so much, because I was determined that this one needs to be done first and then the others! After a few days of just trying to get started, one fine day, I made up my mind that I need to have my own studio (I like to call it that, though it is just a desk LOL!). So I put up notes, pulled out my small desktop easel and arranged my paints, papers and other stuff in a way that would be organized and easily available! It took me just a day! I wonder why I hadn't done that before... Well, tell you what!? That just got me started!!!
4. I had shifted Tanush's photo in a different WIP folder on my Picassa. That just had this one photo, but worked well.. I made quite a few rough sketches to get a good hold of the features as well as to get the best portrait. Well, I think I drew this photo about 4 times. The last one was the best and I stopped.
5. I darkened this final rough sketch with a 2B pencil. I placed the sketch on the light table (I don't really have one! I have a glass top table, and I slid down a table lamp under that while covering the whole place with a curtain....), a Watercolor Cold Press 140 lb paper on top, and then lightly traced over the picture with a 2H pencil and lightened it further using a kneaded eraser. By now I knew where I had to draw really light and where some emphasis could be given...
6. By now I had decided on which tutorial to follow! You can go through Wetcanvas' Portrait Lesson which gives you a simple and easy to follow series of steps to make your portrait. I made simple notes of it in a paper emphasizing mainly on when to take a break. I mounted the drawing to a hard support.
7. I kept away the drawing and took a day's break, because I was getting too excited! :) As the next step, I decided on what all colors I will use for the portrait. I went through the photograph trying to notice what shade are the different shadows and created a small palette with all the colors that I was going to need and what shades could be mixed with them. I had decided on a mild - almost monotone portrait, so I needed just 4 colors or so. I pulled out appropriate brushes too.
8. The next day, I lay a basic shade over the entire face, leaving out a few white areas on the face and hair. I let the color flow on to the hair and a little bit of the background too for harmony. I looked for the violets and greens in his face as suggested by the demo.. I dropped a bit of violet wet into wet. My paper wasn't too wet either, though - I didn't wet the sheet completely before starting. I started with wetting areas and then dropping colors, to see how that works.. I let it dry completely before I started another layer on it.
9. The next day, I started with the eyes.