In the final stages of a painting I will keep looking at the overall painting, checking that it looks balanced and that I have created a portrait that captures and represents a true likeness of the individual. With Ollie I felt it was important to show his easygoing and playful nature.
Now Ollie’s portrait is entering the final stages of completion. The whole portrait has a stronger and darker tone. There is a fine balance between tone, shading and definition, while retaining Ollie’s personal features and personality.
Ollie’s lovely blue eyes have now come alive. When I sketch children they tend to be in a world of their own, but when they look at you, they seem to look right through you and this is what I have tried to capture with Ollie. Ollie’s hair is now darker in areas to add depth and his top has more colour. I keep applying more brushstrokes of colour, working around all white areas. The whites of Ollie’s eyes are the paper, not paint.
Ollie’s portrait is nearly complete, as I apply more washes to build up more tone between the light and dark areas. Ollie’s eyes have more pronounced white areas and a dry brush technique has been used to define the eye area. Lots of thin strands of paint have been applied for Ollie’s hair, where I’ve tried to leave areas to show how, as a baby his hair is still developing.
The watercolour portrait of Ollie, is starting to show his cheeky expression. His lovely blue eyes have their first washes of blue and his crumpled top, from lots of rolling on his parent’s bed, as I sketched him, is taking form. If you look carefully you can just see the first strokes of paint of Ollie’s hair.
Ollie’s portrait is coming along nicely. His skin tones are more colourful as more warm pigment colours are applied. The blue tones are looking more like shading now and Ollie’s arms and legs are taking form and shape.
The first wash of blue has been applied to Ollie’s portrait. This relates to the blue undertones that are in the skin and also shaded areas of Ollie. Before I paint I will have considered all the areas, small and large, that are to remain white and unpainted. Several layers of blue wash are applied to Ollie before I start to apply another colour to the portrait.
Usually artists paint the background or the eyes first, but I prefer to paint the skin first. After the blue washes, I apply the yellow and red layers. We all have different skin tones, so it can be difficult balancing the amount of washes that are applied. Also unlike painting with oils, if the balance of layers are too much, you can’t just scrape off the paint or paint another layer.
The first washes of yellow watercolour paint have been applied and Ollie is starting to take form. The blue under washes no longer look as blue, as each layer of paint added will be affected by the underlying colours previously applied.
This is the final sketch and composition for happy, little, chappie “Ollie’. He’s a friendly, mischievous little boy and I wanted to express that in his portrait. So the sketch has been composed from several sketches I made of Ollie, as he rolled around on his parent’s bed. Ollie’s parents provided different photographs of Ollie as a reference guide to skin, eye and hair colour. It’s important that the final portrait captures Ollie’s mannerisms, personality and of course looks like Ollie.