Still Working Out What To Do About Those Eyebrows

May 16, 2016

160508-Dick-Watercolor-Side-lightCRBRLeft: Water-soluble color pencil (Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer) and watercolor on Arches Cold Press Watercolor Board (8 x 10 inch board).

Even though International Fake Journal Month is over I'm still working on that Arches Cold Press Watercolor Board with Watercolors. And Dick is still patiently sitting while I sketch him from life. 

But now I'm shining a very bright light on him.


160508_Dick-1_DSC04381Left: Stage 1: The watercolor pencil sketch. I used a burnt orange or sienna water-soluble color pencil—I put the pencil away before noting it down. The progress photos were taken under less than ideal light so the pencil looks a little darker and more brown than it does in life. I taped the edges of the board with wide Nichiban Masking tape. It holds well to the board. Click on an image to view an enlargement.


I've found when I'm working with watercolor I'm not very patient and end up hitting things with the heat gun to dry between layers.

160508_Dick-2_DSC04386Left: Stage 2: Here you can see the first yellow wash which started to dissolve the watercolor pencil, and the second wash with some of the redder skin color going in. Click on an image to view an enlargement.


The good news is that if I use the heat gun I can finish a sketch like this from pencil to finish in 35 minutes.

The other great news about the heat gun is that it freezes the water-soluble pencil dissolving process. If I don't use the heat gun sometimes all my marks disappear!

160508_Dick-3_DSC04387Left: Stage 3: This version shows me deepening those shadow areas some more.

After Stage 3 I started working quickly across the face and didn't need to go out to the kitchen where I'd set up the heat gun. By the time I was ready to return to one portion of the face it had dried sufficiently on its own—so I didn't take any more photo breaks. I just kept darkening the shadow areas. (Though first I painted in the background.) 

The splotch on the right of the painting, in the t-shirt area is a bit of color that my hand picked up in the from the taped border where the background wash was still wet. I suppose I could have tried to lift it, but it reminds me that I have to pay attention to those taped edges!

I cut Dick's hair on Sunday night, so depending on how many of these recent sketches I post you'll start to see the shorter hair appearing soon. It was very dramatic when I finished the cut.

While I'm still working out what to do about those eyebrows I'm rather pleased about the glint I got in the light-side eye where the light really bounced through like that.

Each day I notice a little more. And Dick is patient. I'm grateful for that.

    • joanne
    • May 16, 2016

    I trim my husband’s eyebrows. Just a straight cut over the top edge usually gets all the longer ones. His hair stylist started doing it years ago and when I remember, I do it.

  1. Reply

    Joanne, the trimming of eyebrows is not allowed here—Dick uses his the old fashioned way—he sweats! I may have joked once about trimming them, but both he and I know it’s never going to happen.

    I may not have fun drawing and painting them because they are both light in value and huge in volume, but I don’t think I would recognize him without them.

    His dad (of whom DIck is a clone) has eyebrows that are also quite full and his are white. His are generally clipped and I have to say they do look a little odd.

    I’ll just have to continue along trying to crack this particular visual “issue” I have when sketching.

  2. Reply

    This painting is lovely! I really like the “step-by-step” posts you have because they remind me that I often quit too early and miss out on the depth and details that I could have if I would just persevere.

  3. Reply

    Thanks Evie, because that’s exactly why I like to do them, to show that you have to keep pushing along. Thanks for writing in.

    • Gerda Wolzak-van Hummel
    • June 10, 2016

    Like the painting a lot and had to laugh about the eyebrows. If I went with scissors to my husband, he would flee and never again sitting model for me. Proud of his eyebrows I suspect. I like this painting also because of the colours you used and the contrast with the background. Can you tell which colours you chose?

  4. Reply

    Yes Gerda I used a very dilute Quin Gold, Maroon Perylene, and Pthalo Blue Red Shade. I sketched with a tuscan red pencil.

    Yep, Dick will keep those eyebrows—he uses them (they really do keep sweat out of his eyes).

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