Anyone who has followed me for a while knows that I usually avoid painting portraits because I’m a
bit of a huge perfectionist and quite often end up throughly hating both the process and the end result.
On the other hand, I’ve belonged to Sktchy for quite a while thanks to my Instagram friend Chantal (who is a brilliant watercolour painter), and I kept promising myself I’d at least try doing some portraits there. I really did intend to start last year but it never quite worked out.
Since it’s now a new year, I decided today was the day to start!
I browsed through the app until I found a photo I really liked, and so spent about an hour drawing it using a mechanical pencil in my A5 sketchbook. Here’s what I came up with …
I was pretty happy with this, so I uploaded it to Sktchy and Instagram like this, reasoning that if I screwed up the painting, at least I’d have a record of the drawing.
Now, I’ve painted portraits with oils, acrylics and (most often) Genesis heat-set paints, but never gouache, and since I’m still excited about my new M. Graham paints, I decided to try them for this. I didn’t expect it to go as well as it did – I know I love painting in gouache, but I’m amazed how much I loved painting this portrait. Because they re-wet so well, pushing edges around and blending areas together was almost as easy as it is with oils, and that truly was a surprise to me. Here’s the end result:
Do you think this will be the last portrait I paint in gouache? No, me either.