Saturday, May 20, 2017

1955 Ford Truck

When I was looking at the photograph again, I noticed that something I thought was a yellow window is actually part of the truck: it's a side mirror on (my) right. I liked it and decided to pencil it in. You can see it in this picture. I will miskit it because I don't want to lose those lines doing the background. 

For those who like to work ahead a little, continue painting the rust in the technique you liked best. I decided that I liked putting the rust in on the white, letting it dry, and then painting the truck color and blending it into the rust. All miskit is still on. I painted the rust on the wheels, bumper, any place there was rust. I did put a coat of dark on the tires, making sure to leave some marks for the tread. 
And because it was looking a little undefined to me, I put some of the dark lines in: around the window (don't do it there if you are going to work more in the window area); under the hood; around the door.

If you want your truck to be similar to this color, I've put below some possible color combinations that would work. I realize we don't all have the same colors, so I know these should work for you. I mostly used cobalt teal with orange, then darkened it with some pthalo in darker areas. But I could have used any of these combinations. 

Next Thursday, we'll finish up details and background. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Here is a photo my husband took of a 1955 C600 truck in Guilford, Indiana. 

I changed it to black and white so I could see the values more clearly. Then I sketched it out and studied the details. Even though I may not use all the tiny details, I wanted to understand more about the vehicle before painting it. I asked questions about what some items were used for; I looked up Ford medallions and emblems on Google; and I looked up more detailed pictures of what this would look like. Then I created a picture on tracing paper and shaded in my darkest values and my midtones. I am NOT mechanical, so when I tackle something like this, I want to know all I can going in. 

You can see 5 Things Realistic Painters Do Well on Mind of Watercolor youtube channel

I miskited the chrome parts and anything that looked very white and sharp edged. I miskited the windshield wipers and mirrors, even tho some of that will be dark. I just don't want to paint around all those tiny things.
Then with burnt sienna and French Ultra Marine, I painted in the darkest darks. This helps me sometimes to see where I'm going in a picture. The dark under the front bumper is hard edged near the bumper, but fades softly toward the ground. I wanted it jagged because I want to put grass underneath. (The truck will eventually be put in a field)

For the window, I wet the window area, lay in a faint wash of turquoise, then while wet, I put in some ultramarine (but I wish I'd used cobalt) to darken the top of the window and create the illusion of the back and side windows. I added a little pink to the right side of the window and in the back window.

Cobalt teal blue with a little orange in it helped create the basic truck color. I wanted to show 3 ways of doing rust:
1. Wet in wet. Paint the item with the local color, then while wet, add burnt sienna in the rust areas, then add a bit of ultramarine to create rust. (See this on fender on my left).
2. Rust over a dry painted area. (That is what I will do on the door wasn't dry yet)
3. Rust on a white area. The fender on my right was burnt sienna with ultramarine added to create rust. Also on the top of the cab. 
Choose the method that works best for you. 

The steering wheel and window details. Inside the front window I want the steering wheel to show, but not be too obvious. All I did was wet the wheel, and gradually dab in drab color until it got to be the shade I wanted. I don't want it hard edged, or it will not look like it is behind the glass. 


To touch up and finish the tennis shoes, I needed to make some corrections. I did not like the dullness around the bottom sides of the shoe, so I used Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove the dull paint. I also used it on the front middle of the shoe to remove hard lines.

On the shoe laces I used the same technique we used on the zebras, applying one color, then another, wet into wet. At first I was using a blue that was not on my original palette....BIG NO NO. It just looked weird. So I went back to the original colors I used in my pour. I lifted a few whites, darkened the dark parts of the shoe, and cleaned up the eyelet holes for the laces with some dark shadows. I also lifted some soft shoelace forms on the inside of the shoe. You can also see where I added the magenta (the color I used on original pour) around the toe and into the sides of it, to make it look like the color was glowing from the inside. I then strengthened the shadow under the shoe, and added a little more magenta and yellow on the toe. For a tiny bit of surprise color, I added a little yellow green at the top back of the shoe and on one of the laces.
Thinking of calling it "One Step at a Time" in honor of  those who are in a 12-step program for recovery.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


Here it is after my second pour. Pouring means constantly making decisions about what to keep, what to miskit, what to pour on. You can "spot" pour by dripping into small areas with a dropper. Or you might decide to only pour one or two colors next time. It all depends on how your previous pour turned out.
On this one I added some more magenta in the center. Then I put miskit on more areas I wanted to save. I even put miskit on the background and pulled some of it back off.

Here is the "map" for the third pour, indicated by the yellow. To create an "explosive" effect, I applied miskit to the background, then, using my finger, I rubbed the dried miskit off areas ins streaks.

I wet the paper again and poured mostly blue, holding the paper upside down. I wanted it to pour away from the toe of the shoe, because I really liked that rainbow effect near the toe. After pouring, I brushed some blue around the botttom of the shoe to create the shadow, without getting more blue on the bottom of the picture. 

After everything was dry, I pulled off all the miskit. As you can see, the miskit pulled off
some of the color, but I was generally happy with the result. One thing I learned from this is to have pretty fresh miskit. It will peel off much easier.

Next week: Touching it up!



This first picture shows how to "grid" the face. The picture on the left is 1" graph paper.
The picture on the right shows a rather mathematical way to place facial features. I put a piece of tracing paper over the line graph.
A. Starts with a circle 5 squares in diameter (see, math), with A as the radius. B is the right side of the radius. C. is the bottom of the circle--also the bottom of the nose. Below C are lines D and E, each an additional square down. F. cuts C and D in half. LineJK is the halfway point of the head, 3 1/2 squares from the top or bottom. If you set a compass on point J and make an arc from K to E (and also set on point K making an arc from J to E) you will makethe cheeks of the face and general chin line.

Here is a close up of this. The eyes are one square wide with a square in between. Generally, people's eyes are an eye width apart. 

I set another sheet of tracing paper over this grid and redraw the oval with eyes placed in the center.
The bottom of the nose is on line c. The mouth is placed between F and D. (1/2 square) Here are some proportions to observe. A triangle drawn from the outer part of one eye to the outer part of the other eye and then to the center of the bottom lip is an equilateral triangle. A square can be drawn from the pupil to pupil down to the corner of the mouth, and across the mouth. Generally there will be an eye width from the corner of the mouth to the edge of the jaw and all around the chin. 
The nostrils of the nose are generall straight down from the inner eye. And you can generally divide the face in thirds from hairline to eyebrow ridge; from eyebrow ridge to bottom of nose; and from bottom of nose to chin. (about 2 eye widths each) 

Lay another clean tracing paper over your basic face pattern and draw in the individual features. Ears generally go from the bottom of the eyebrow to the bottom of the nose. (I think I made my nose a little longer than I wanted to)After you have one oval pattern drawn, you can produce many faces just by putting tracing paper over it and making it individualized.

In drawing the nose, you can think of it as three balls. Face on, you can just draw around the bottom of the three balls to make the curves of the bottom nose. There is a trapezoid shaped part of the skull that comes between the eyes, making the V-shape of the nose. The smallest part of that is often across the pupils. Shade the bottom of the nose. The nostrils are more comma shaped than circles. They are shaded darker at the top than at the bottom. 

I've put my sketch onto paper and tinted it with a light flesh color. I am trying to find a value about 40% darker to create my first shadows. It's pretty dark in the upper part between the eye and nose at the V shape. I give the left (my left) plane of the nose a little shading, and give the ball beneath the nose some shading. Shade the little V above the lip. The nose almost always casts a shadow, and that is a little darker than the shade under the ball of the nose. Strengthen the curve around the nostrils, fading the shadow onto the cheek. Darken the nostrils at the top, allowing a little lighter at the bottom of the nostril. Go gently on the nose shading especially if it is a child or young woman. 

Friday, May 5, 2017


This reference is a very old photo my husband took years ago. He'd placed a black light in the shoe, turned off the lights, and photgraphed it. It looked so cool, I had to paint it.

 The first picture shows the sketch I am working from with the areas of my first miskit marked out in orange.

For the first pour, I used new gamboge, permanent rose, and cobalt blue. I mixed (what I thought was) a thin mixture of each in small cups. It's important to mix the paint thoroughly. You want a fairly light wash first, and each following wash will get gradually darker. 
Then I wet my entire paper thoroughly, and holding my painting at an angle, poured yellow and let it drizzle on the paper. then I poured the permanent rose, allowing it to mix with the yellow. Last, I poured blue. I liked my result, put I think it's darker than I intended in some spots. Oh well, that's part of the fun, the unpredictability. 
There are several ways of pouring some more controlled than others. Do what works for you!!!

Below is my second map, showing where I will miskit next. Normally I would have tried to make the entire map first, with four or five values noted. But I wanted to try to teach how to use this map, and it it makes more sense for me to do it one miskit at a time. The colors do not indicate what color or value I will pour. They only indicate which areas I should cover up next.

More next time!

But please check out sites on pouring to refresh your memory and to see some amazing things artists have done with this technique. Jean Grastorf has beautiful work, but not many you-tubes. Linda Baker, Leslie Redhead, Linda Smith Latimer, and Catherine Martha Holmes are just a few that have some informative you-tubes on this subject. 


A little knowledge helps you understand drawing and painting the eye. Here is a cutaway side view diagram of an eye. Notice how the cornea bulges. The cornea has fluid between it and the iris, which causes a lot of the shiny reflections and hilights we notice in the eye. It is especially noticeable when 
drawing the side view of the eye.

Below is a kind of gross model, but useful. See how the eyeball is placed inside the eye sockets of the skull and held in place by the muscles. 

Below is an ALMOST side view of a young child's eye. The iris is an oval shape, and you really don't see much of the white of the eye. You can see a little of the inner pink (on the left side) and the flap
of the lower eye lid is visible. Hilight is at the top of the eye.. Pupil is also almost flat oval. The lashes curl up and partly over the eyeball as they travel down the side. They begin on the outer
edge of the top rim, not closer in.  
In a true side view only the round area of the cornea would be visible, not the skin on the left side. Sometimes the tear duct will be slightly visible.

Here is how I think about drawing an eye.
The first chart shows I start with a square (kind of representing the sockets in the skull) and mark the square in quarters. This helps me make a more perfect circle and find the perfect center. I make a smaller circle in the exact center, using abut 1/3 of the space. This will be the iris. (the iris takes up approximately 1/3 or more of the space of an eye). 
The second square shows how you can make almost a 45 degree angle across the iris through the pupil. This marks the high point of the upper eye lid and the low point of the lower eye lid. (ON THE RIGHT EYE, THE DIAGONAL GOES THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION) You position the tear duct a little lower than most of the eye, and draw the lid around those points. (this is the left eye)

In the third picture I've drawn the inner thickness of the lids. In reality, depending on the angle of the eye, you would only see the upper or lower, or part, not both, but I include them in my drawing to remind me they are there. LOOK FOR HOW THEY ARE PLACED IN YOUR REFERENCE. I also drew the creases in the upper lid and lower lid. 
In drawing #4 Ive added lashes (attached to the outer thickness of the lid). Lower lashes should be barely visible. Lashes can be drawn in small cluster, and go in different directions. Just pay attention to your model or reference. In an eye that is facing forward, they are not as noticeable. 
For the eyebrow, start at the inner corner above the tear duct and work up to the arch. In general, if you draw a line from the edge of the nose through the pupil, you will find the high point of the arch.
(yellow line)

When the eye is completely drawn, notice that the pupil looks higher up. That is because the upper lid covers more of the eye than the lower one.  If your eyelid does not cover the iris, and the iris appears as a perfect circle, the eye looks scared or surprised.


Remember that eyes should look wet and shiny. And these are suggestions, not the final word in how to paint an eye. 

1. Start with a drawing as above. Paint the skin around the eyes. 
2. Paint a little pink on the tear duct, corners of the eyes, and the outer upper lid. 
Shade the white (sclera) of the eye with cobalt on the sides and underneath the upper lid.
3. Paint the creases by applying paint in the crease and softening the edge over the lid. Let that dry.
Do the same for the lower lid crease. Put a drop of masking fluid in the upper part of the eye above and into the pupil. (Be sure to look at your model to see the placement) Paint some quin gold
into the iris and dry. I also painted a faint wash of blue on the left side where the nose would shadow it.

4. For a brown eye I mixed quin burnt orange with blue and painted in the color. While the paint was wet, I lifted an arch of light with a thirsty brush. I added a few more pinks in the tear duct and outer edges. For the brow, put in a light brown wash just to show general shape. 
5. Strengthen the cobalt shadow underneath the upper lid. Shade the skin above the eyelid, applying paint to the crease again, but this time pulling the paint ABOVE the crease to account for the curve and shadow in that area. Add some dark browns around the outside of the iris and painted in the pupil. When dry remove the miskit in the hilight.

6. For the lashes, with a very thin brush put in some tiny lashes on the bottom, giving them some curve....don't apply in straight lines. the lashes begin at the outer edges of the rim on the lids. 
For the brow, use several shades of brown and burnt sienna. With tiny stroke put in the lash hairs, follwoing the direction of the brow. Soften the bottom of the brow with some lifting. 

This is an example of a green eye. All the same steps were followed, just color changed.  In this, I started with some flecks of quin gold first. When dry, I added some cobalt blue and dropped in quin gold. The outer edge of the iris is not painted with black, but with darker blue.