11/20/08

ITALIAN WOMAN

Watercolor can be fresh and free or tight and controlled - and anything in between. I love the many, many ways it can be handled to allow for varied results and especially like to play with the loose, painterly possibilities when doing a portrait.

A few weeks ago one of the classes painted along with me to learn to do portraits, and we made an effort to paint loosely, as you can see in this finished painting. Our goal was to see the values of each shape and recreate what we observed with appropriate edges.

If anything, painting a good portrait involves well honed observation skills. Really looking carefully at a shape, how it changes in value, its edge ...that's what it's all about.

"FOCUSED" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 11 x 15"

12 comments:

Suzanne McDermott said...

Beautiful job, Sandy.

Myrna said...

Beautiful portrait. The hair treatment is especially exciting.

PERUGINA ART said...

This is just magnificent! I think i will have to class this as my favourite Sandy...'che meraviglia!' 'marvellous'... like she is caught in a dream!
Sei Bravissima!

Ann Buckner said...

Excellent, Sandy! Beautiful work shaping the nose area. Love the light playing across her.

Nava said...

Sandy, it has a wonderful mood to it, almost Jane Austen-ish.

Love how you let the watercolor so whatever they felt like. Alas, I always tend to intervene, as in "ahhh, that is so cool!! let me ruin it!". There is no end to the artist's self-destruction. is there?

RHCarpenter said...

Bellisimo! I just realized I hadn't seen this one finished - glad you posted it. Such a porcelaine complexion and intense look in her eyes and great use of the blossoms.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Thanks so much for commenting, everyone. And Nava, it is so hard not to try to make it better whne really cool things happen on the paper. I alomst always intervene and ruin it too. She was a stunningly beautiful woman who seemed to be very intent on life.
Happy painting, y'll!

Michelle Himes said...

Absolutely gorgeous, Sandy!!!!

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Gorgeous.Love the skin tones and the freedom of the washes. I just let out a breath of 'aaaawwwwwe' that went on forever as it appeared on my screen. Oh - why cant I work with you.

David Burge said...

Really well done Sandy.
You've captured her spirit beautifully. Nice balance between control and freedom, that's the magical quality of watercolour we all seek.

Nick said...

love that one, ditto to Dake's comment

wayne said...

Hi Sandy
That is a great watercolour and immediately caught my eye here on my first visit to your art blog! I love the wet-in-wet transitions/blooms. The dark hair really sets off the the fair complexion. The gaze is resolute and directed. I also like her having been positioned on the left side of the horizontal format with her eyes set towards the right-hand side of the composition. I painted a portrait of my daughter in that position/composition, with that same 'directed (L-R) gaze' about a decade ago (how time flies!). Anyway, this one of yours is a fantastic piece!!
cheers
~W