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Draw a Beard, You’ll Feel Better

September 28, 2018
Pen and watercolor on a watercolor paper scrap.

Draw a Beard, You’ll Feel Better—That’s my advice today.

I have too many deadlines and I’m still working to organize the end of my year. I thought today’s image was a perfect way to stay in touch. I feel like I’m staring at my computer like this the past few weeks. 

But painting a beard always makes me feel better.

Below, in the detail from today’s sketch you’ll see transparent layers of watercolor glazed over earlier layers, and some layers wet-on-wet because I couldn’t wait! It’s usually best to wait. But the fun thing about working very quickly is that you make choices without second guessing them—like that Indian Yellow in the hair which I think adds to the intensity of the expression.

I used flat and round brushes for this. Take time to play with your brushstrokes. I used different  brushes for the face (a 2-inch flat; second layer large filbert), hair (and the beard, 12 round), and the shirt (4 round). Painting is fun and experimental for me. I enjoy seeing what marks I can make with the different brushes.

And when I was all finished I didn’t like the background color so I added a little white gouache to my background color and covered the very top portion of the background with that mix. That’s the area I didn’t like. 

Find something engaging to paint today! Work on a series for the weekend! Make it your own painting retreat.

Don’t sit too long at the computer. We all deserve a painting break.

Detail from the sketch.
    • Corinne McNamara
    • September 28, 2018

    Thank you for the reminder! I’m facing a stack of papers that need to be graded before class next Thursday. I should be better about taking breaks, and a mini-series might be just the thing. I’m not sure about beards, but maybe bearded iris?

    1. Reply

      By all means if you have some lovely flowers near at hand sketch those. I think that would make an ideal break between grading papers!!! Have fun.Thanks for writing.

    • Bea
    • September 30, 2018

    I’m learning to draw and copy your faces a lot for practice. They are fun to draw. Hope you don’t mind. Thank you…

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