Daily painting #47: Dakota

At today’s life class, our model was a nice woman named Dakota. I painted her portrait in about two hours. She held her pose perfectly, which helped me get a reasonable likeness. She was concentrating hard to stay still, and I tried to capture her rather serious expression. Alas, I forgot to indicate her shoulders, heh, and by the time I realized it, the model had left. Oh well.

Geoff Watson, “Dakota,” June daily painting #16, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Dakota,” June daily painting #16, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Daily painting #25: Improved self-portrait

I couldn’t stand looking at that bad start, so I resumed my little 6” x 6” self-portrait today. After a couple more hours work, it’s better. It’s getting closer to a likeness, and it’s no longer bad, lol. I will work on it again on the next rainy day.

Geoff Watson, “Improved self-portrait (in progress),” May daily painting #25, study, oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Improved self-portrait (in progress),” May daily painting #25, study, oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.

Daily painting #24: Goofy self-portrait

I didn’t have much time for today’s daily painting, so this is a goofy start of a tiny self-portrait. I’ll work on it a bit tomorrow, which will be another busy day for me. Normally I wouldn’t post something this bad, but part of the point of the daily painting movement is to keep a daily journal. So, look and giggle!

Geoff Watson, “Goofy self-portrait (in progress),” study, May daily painting #24, oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Goofy self-portrait (in progress),” study, May daily painting #24, oil on panel, 6” x 6,” 2019.

Daily painting #12: Laura

Laura is a new model at my life class, and today she sat for the second session of a two-session pose. I didn’t finish polishing and smoothing out the colors in her face, but I like a lot about it. The likeness is pretty good, and the picture has some character.

Geoff Watson, “Laura,” May daily painting #12, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Laura,” May daily painting #12, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Daily painting #5: Laura

Today I painted a new model, Laura, in life class. This was the first of a two-week pose, but I think it’s off to a decent start. She holds her head nicely, and her features are strong, so she’s fun to paint. Next week I’ll refine her features, balance the lights and shadows better, model her head in a more 3D way, and work on her hair. All in two hours, natch!

Geoff Watson, “Laura (in progress),” May daily painting #5, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Laura (in progress),” May daily painting #5, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Portrait of Mallina

Mallina is one of my favorite models: she holds a pose perfectly! This portrait doesn’t do her justice, but I hope it captures some of her spirit.

Geoff Watson, “Portrait study of Mallina,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Portrait study of Mallina,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Woman with a silver earring

This painting was really fun. I had originally planned a light background on the left and darker background on the right, to set up contrast with the light and shadow sides of the model’s face. But I had second thoughts when I noticed the awesome earring the model was wearing, which would’ve disappeared had I painted it against a light background. So I sorta reversed course — darker on the left, lighter on the right. I wimped out a bit; I think a darker background on the left would’ve looked cool. But it worked out pretty well, and I think the earring looks pretty neat.

Geoff Watson, “Woman with a silver earring,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Woman with a silver earring,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Pete

This was the first time I’d painted this model, and I enjoyed it. I was aiming for a higher-key, sunnier vibe than the more serious “Gentleman” I painted last week. I also experimented with what Charles Reid calls color “tie-ins” — that is, linking color in different parts of the picture in unexpected ways. For example, I tried some flesh tones in the hair, some overlap between shirt and background, and some blues and greens in the model’s face.

It’s also a pretty good likeness, though I think I shaved off a couple years. Most models don’t object to that.

Geoff Watson, “Pete,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Pete,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

A Gentleman (finished)

This was the second session of a two-session pose. I spent a bit less than 4 hours total on the painting. At the end of the first session, the likeness wasn’t great; you can see it in my March 4 post. So I focused hard on improving the drawing at the start of today’s session, and within a half hour I had a good likeness — and it got better as the session went along. I’m quite pleased with the final result, though as always I needed more time. The shadows on the side of the face need a little smoothing and refining, and it would’ve been nice to add more detail to the outfit.

Alas, neither of the photos below does it justice; the second photo shows off the color better, I think.

Geoff Watson, “A Gentleman,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “A Gentleman,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “A Gentleman (detail),” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “A Gentleman (detail),” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Jolene

The lighting at today’s life class was confusing because we had to deal with three light sources. (1) A warm spotlight; (2) slightly less warm overhead lights; and (3) behind us, a wall of bright windows (covered with ineffective curtains) casting cool light on the model -- and glare on my painting surface. I found these conditions difficult.

Anyway, I did my best. We had the model in front of us for a couple hours (minus breaks). But I confess I spent a half hour touching things up after class at home, working from memory with no photo reference — not a great way to improve the likeness. At least I had my new Revelite easel light illuminating my panel properly. "Jolene," oil on panel, 11" x 14."

Geoff Watson, “Jolene,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Jolene,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Experimenting

I started this portrait of Moe in life class a couple weeks ago, and today we continued with the same pose, but I had a different vantage point. So, prompted by my instructor, I experimented with the composition. Eventually I’d like to achieve the lost and distorted edges produced by artists like Terry Miura, but I can see it will take a lot of practice. Even so, this was a decent start.

“Moe with distortions,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

“Moe with distortions,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Emily, week 2

This was the second session of a two-session pose. I’m pretty happy with it; the likeness is good, and the colors are juicy.

Geoff Watson, “Emily in January,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Emily in January,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Moe

I’ve never had the privilege of painting Moe before. Wow, what a great model! He’s got a handsome face and fantastic physique, and he’s a super nice guy — just a treat to paint. This was the first of a two-session pose; not sure whether to refine this next time or start a new one, perhaps of his whole figure. Either way, I really look forward to painting him again.

Geoff Watson, “Moe,” study in progress, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Moe,” study in progress, oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Emily in January

This is the first of a two-week portrait study. I suppose this is a brunaille — a brownish underpainting. I was focusing on getting the drawing right, not really attending to color. It’s close to a likeness, but Emily is younger and slimmer in real life, so I will try to fix those things next week. I hope I have enough time to add some detail to her eyes, too.

Geoff Watson, “Emily in January,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Emily in January,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2019.

Smoking

I had fun with this portrait in life class last week. It was the second session of a two-session pose; I posted my progress after the first session a couple weeks ago.

Geoff Watson, “Smoking,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Smoking,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.

Harry and the Hat

This was the first of a two-week sitting with Harry, who often wears a funky little top hat. Hats are hard to get right, and my first effort here is too small. I’ll fix it next week. I’ve also got placeholders around the eyes and jawline, so there’s plenty of work to be done, but I feel this is a good start.

Geoff Watson, “Harry and the Hat (in progress),” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Harry and the Hat (in progress),” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.

Emily reclining

In life class we almost always have a nude model, but I almost always paint the portrait, not the full figure. I do draw the full figure in our warm-ups, but for a painting, I am generally most interested in the subject’s face. This time, though, the reclining pose really called for a figure study. I did this in about an hour and forty-five minutes.

Geoff Watson, “Study of Emily reclining,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Study of Emily reclining,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.

Emily looking right

I did this portrait in about two hours in life class today. As always, more time would have been nice, but I did get a likeness.

Geoff Watson, “Emily looking left,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.

Geoff Watson, “Emily looking left,” oil on panel, 11” x 14,” 2018.