Today I started a new watercolour based on a photo of my friend Jen at a 1940’s party a couple of years ago (that was a good party) she’s in a WWII military outfit, not a perfect representation but close enough and she did look amazing! And with veterans day coming up it seemed very appropriate.
In the original photo Jen was stood in front of a large swirly curtain with a small Union Flag (It’s only supposed to be called a Union Jack at sea. One of the many random facts I’ve learnt from Dr Who!) behind her but in my painting I decided to put a large flat Union Flag behind her as it looks better.
I started as always with a tweaked pencil outline. I made Jens waist more defined (I’m sure she will be happy about that!) left out her rings and learnt that the Union Flag isn’t symmetrical, you learn something new every day!
Next I filled in the larger areas of colour on Jen and put in the majority of the shadows. I’m not yet happy with the skin tone as Jen does look a little florescent in places (I’m not sure how that happened) But I’m sure it will look better once I’ve added the rest of the features and hair. I’m also a bit concerned about the hand giving a jaunty salute, I never did like painting hands. I am very happy with the jacket and cap though, which are both looking pretty good at this stage.
And finally here’s where I am so far, I’ve got a bit more tone in the salute hand but it does still need a lot of work. The face will need some definition and shade once the first coat of paint is fully dry. I’m starting to think maybe I should have left the poppy she was wearing in her hair out but it’s a bit late to do anything about it now (I suppose that would be one of the advantages of oil over watercolour) I’ve also added some tone in the skirt and oh yeh, almost forgot I’ve painted the majority of the flag in the background… easy one to miss that!
I want to concentrate on getting the face and hands right on my next session, I think I’ll be happier once I’ve given Jen some hair too… I’m sure Jen would mirror that sentiment!
I’ve been using a extremely old non-refillable set of watercolours that my grandfather gave me for my 15th birthday (my God that was a long time ago!) for my last two paintings. Sadly I think that set may be coming to the end of it’s life *sniff* so it will soon be time to go shopping for a shiny new set me thinks! Yay!