One of the things I like to do, is to reuse the same picture again and again. The reason for this is that it takes a lot of time to find an image that I want to use as a reference picture. Once I find the image that pleases me I like to use that image to do my watercolour, my graphite, my charcoal or whatever. I don’t know if other people do this, but it works for me.
I was told many years ago, and I don’t know if it’s true, that there was a French language school in Paris that only taught one or two nouns, adverbs, adjectives and a couple of verbs. Something like this and the students weren’t allowed to use any other language except these items until they managed to manipulate them really well in all the tenses, question forms etc. Once they were able to manage them well, then they could upgrade and use extra vocabulary. This is what I feel I do when I use the same image again and again. Below is an example.
I found a beautiful example of a woman in a gorgeous pose with really nice lighting. Firstly I drew the image, and I was happy with that.
I’ll just say that one of the added bonuses of doing the black and white image first was that because I did it in graphite, I was able to know easily where the shadows and the shading were.
Then I tried to draw her using sanguine pencils which I had never used before. This time it was quite minimalist, but I felt it worked.
Finally, I watercoloured the face. I wasn’t 100% happy with it, but I felt it was better than many previous watercolour faces I have done. For me it’s very interesting to compare the different methods used. Over time, I have found that I have reused many many images, and I find that it’s really really helpful to me, either in attempting to make a better picture or to see my progress if there is any.
I grew up, hating doing the same thing again and again, however I feel this is different because each time it’s with a different medium and it feels easier to do each time as I know where everything is and how much light or dark or whatever to give it.
Here is another example, though I’m not sure it worked as well this time. I also reversed the image for a bit of variety, however, that actually confused my brain a bit. I also tried something a little different for me and tried painting the face in just one colour (a Roman Szmal Aquarius colour called Shadow violet which is just the loveliest paint).
Do you repeat pictures or do something different each time?
In my next blog I will show some more examples, I think I have done it more with animals than with people.