Most of the time I am painting landscapes from Canada and my travels. The last couple of weeks I have been focusing on watercolour portrait sketches as a way to practice accuracy. I find doing these sketch book studies a lot of fun and at the same time challenging. I think for the style of art that I do that drawing is foundational and always will be. I believe it is really important to develop the spatial drawing skills that just comes from practice and close observation.
The Yin and Yang of painting portraits is for me a way of describing the relationship between accuracy to form and detail and at the same time keeping the pictures loose and allowing for the organic nature of watercolour. I have heard it said of painting portraits that “the soul is in the details”. With that in mind I usually put more detail into the face and specifically the eyes. While I am working carefully on the details of the face I am at the same time putting in loose washes in other parts of the picture. It is a challenge to be loose and accurate at the same time. At the end of the day I am making a piece of art and so I am hoping to convey a little of the spirit of the person.