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Entries in Tutorial (15)

Thursday
Jun132013

Game of Thrones Drawing Tutorial


After the tragic conclusion of season three of Game of Thrones, I wanted to try a pencil drawing of Daenerys Targaryen.  Mind you, I haven't done any graphite pencil drawings since college so the thought was somewhat daunting. Fortunately, once I had my sketch down it all came back to me!

I started off by drawing a light sketch. Try not to make your lines too dark, we will use sharp and soft edges to build the shape.


Once the sketch was down, use a darker grade pencil to start enhancing your dark areas.

Starting to look like a face!  Look to your reference photo and notice the really dark areas. If you build the dark areas you will be able to blend out and create the softer/lighter areas. Look at the nose, see how we can start to create shape by blending the darks?


When you are ready to blend, a tortillon tool is best.  It's basically tightly rolled paper that allows you "push"the graphite around to create that blended look.


As you blend, you may find some of your dark areas have lost some of their depth. Don't be afraid to go back in with a darker pencil to continue to build the levels!

Woof, time to start with the hair.  Drawing/painting hair has been an evil nemesis of mine since I first started portraits.  I started with wavy lines and used varying depths of shading to create the flowing appearance.
 I found that is was easier to add the background at this point so I could use it to show the dimension between the head and the background.
When adding the dark pencil for the shirt, I went back in with an eraser to add highlights.  Once you have your highlights, you can enhance them by using a darker pencil around the highlight. Adding a part in the hair made a huge difference!


For the final touch, I went in with my eraser and erased some fine lines to add texture and highlight to the hair, and Viola!
Have fun!

M.

Thursday
Apr042013

Marion Rose Inspired Buffalo Painting


When my husband said he wanted a painting of a buffalo to put over our fireplace, I couldn't wait to get my brushes out and start painting!

We LOVE the "Bison Head Color Study III" painting by Marion Rose, so I decided I would try to replicate it.  If you are not already familiar with Marion Rose's art, please explore her site and let yourself get swept away in the amazing colors.  She was a master of bold, bright, and colorful pieces of American art.  Unfortunately, Marion Rose died in 2011.  Her art is a constant inspiration for me, so replicating one of her pieces was very special.

First grab some bright Acrylic paints and some large brushes.  I actually used a stain brush from Home Depot and found that I was able to create the best texture with this large type of brush.  I did use smaller brushes for the eye, horn, and some other highlight areas.  I wanted this painting to be massive, so I waited until I had a 40% off coupon at Michaels and bought a 36"x48" wrapped gallery canvas.


 Once I had a sketch down, I started with the background. Start by slapping, yes literally slap, the paint onto the canvas. Then alternate your brush strokes to create a textured/chunky appearance.

Now for the fun part! Building the Buffalo head took a lot of layers to create the depth, shadows, and contours.  Make sure to stop and wash your brushes every so often so your paints don't get muddy.

Don't be afraid to use black paint to really create your shadowed areas. You will be amazed how the layers will "pop" when the bright colors are bordered by darks.



I have always found eyes to be incredibly stressful.  They really help to bring emotion to your piece, so take your time! By adding a simple white highlight, you can create shape and realism to your eye.

 Before I put the brushes down, I went back with some bright colors to add last minute highlights.

This little Buffalo has a new home in our living room! I just love him, although next time I'll go bigger!


M. 

Monday
Feb252013

Painting the Blue-Grey Tanager


When I started working on my pieces for the 12x12 Art Show & Silent Auction, I knew I wanted to paint a Nicaraguan bird.  Luckily, Nicaragua is home to 698 different bird species!  I decided on a Blue-Grey Tanager, which is found throughout Central America.  In a previous post that explains this charity art show I had promised a tutorial for this piece, here it is! You can read more about this charity art show on my Hope Comes in Color Post.

I used oil paint for this piece so that I was able to layer paint and create a "feathered" look.   I started by sketching a basic outline of the bird.

The next step is to go in with your dark paints and start to build the contours and crevices.  Now you might be saying "wait, I thought this was a blue bird?". That is the beauty of painting with oils! By starting with these dark colors we are going to build layers that add depth and shadows.
If you are using a reference photo, make note of the darkest areas.  Think of your painting as a "color by number".  Don't be afraid if your painting looks too dark, we will lighten it later. You will have to let this layer dry before going in with your blue paints. Oil paint takes much longer to dry than acrylic, it might take a few days before you are ready to paint again.
Once your base layer is dry it's time to add your primary color layers.  Because oil paint is transparent, you will find that your dark areas stay dark! Again, think of the color by numbers, use darker blue for the areas of contour, and lighter colors for highlights.
 For the branch, I alternated long and short brush strokes and different browns, black, and white paint.
 Our little bird is starting to look like a Tanager!
I knew I wanted a basic background.  I chose a green wash.  By mixing green and white on your palette and adding some turpentine, your paint will "wash" onto the canvas.
I continued to go back and add highlights in white.  One of the most drastic highlights you can add is a simple dot of white in the eye. You will be amazed how much life it brings to your piece!
 Close up of the face


Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I would love any feedback!

M.  

Thursday
Feb212013

Charming DIY Bedside Table


I was in desperate need of a new bedside table after we rearranged our bedroom.  After looking briefly in a few different shops, I decided to look one more place...my parents basement.  I managed to find this beauty buried under some old boxes.
I'm pretty sure this table has been painted every color you can fit on a palette.  The height was prefect for next to the bed, and I loved the little drawer.  The next step was to head to Home Depot and grab some supplies!
 I grabbed a quart of Behr "Vintage Chic" paint in "Ozone" in a matte finish.  Then found this awesome crackle paint by Martha Stewart.  The color of the crackle paint is called "Oat".
  First I gave the table a light sanding to get rid of some of the old paint layers.  Then I painted the body of the table the Ozone blue.
  The crackle paint tells you to use a Putty knife to apply the paint to your surface.  This was much harder than I expected and found that I couldn't apply evenly with the putty knife.  I found it easier to use the putty knife to apply a thick layer of paint and then use a brush to smooth it on the surface.  The instructions say the thicker the coat, the larger the cracks. I thought I caked it on pretty thick, but my cracks were still pretty small.  I used the crackle paint on the drawer face and the table top.


The crackle paint gave this table the perfect amount of vintage chic.  Made complete with design magazines, a creepy wooden cat, and an Ikea lamp, this table is perfect!

M.  

Monday
Dec242012

Painting Baby Ben


Recently, I have been really into giving art as gifts for special occasions.  So when my college roommate had her first baby, I knew I wanted to paint her something for mother's day.  What better subject to paint than her beautiful baby boy!

I thought I would share a tutorial for this painting.  I really enjoyed the process.  I used oil paints for this portrait so it took a LONG time (about a year all together). I used their announcement card as a reference photo.

The early photos are pretty poor quality, so bear with me.

Once I had a sketch down on the canvas I started filling in color.  By placing dark colors down early, I was able to build the shadows and details.



 At this point I really start going in with dark colors to highlight the shadows.  Pay attention to all the nooks and crannies! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Don't be afraid to go too dark with oil paint! You can always lighten it by layering. That's the beauty of the medium.

I chose to use a thinning medium to change the consistency of the paint as the face progressed.  I use Turpentine. The Winsor & Newton Oil Painting Solvents are affordable and effective.  You can find them at your local craft store or Dick Blick online.


Thinning mediums (like Turpentine) are solvents that are mixed with oil paints to change the consistency. Basically changing the paint from fat to thin.  When you see oil paints that are glossy and shiny, chances are the paint was mixed with a thinner.

For the hair, I used a fan brush like this Royal Langnickel Sofia Fan from Dick Blick.

 This type of brush allows you to "fan" color on to the canvas, while creating a hair texture.

Here are some close-ups:




I went to Michaels to have this little guy framed. Their custom framing department is always helpful and they have a decent selection of frames and mouldings.


It was so special to give this portrait to my friend and hear now 2 year old Bennett point and say "that's Bennett!"

M.