Cross Hatching, Portrait Practice and Galaxy Cows

So it has been an interesting week. Ever since I came to terms with the fact that I am indeed an artist (a little less than a year ago), I have been doing art every day. But what I have noticed since I started selling my art, is that I am spending less time practicing my skills, and more time just producing art. So this week I took a step back, and spent time just devoted to practice and fun.

I started a Sktchy course on digital cross hatch portraits in Procreate with France Stone. I love her teaching style because she is a self taught artist like myself, and values the process over the product with comments like “resemblance is over-rated” and noting that she rarely ever finishes a drawing, always leaving a little undone.

In fact, it was her traditional cross hatching portrait class that got really got me started again with art when I completed 30 days of portraits in support of Black Lives Matters after the murder of George Floyd. It’s hard for me to believe that was just a year ago!

So in practicing the lessons, one thing I did was draw the initial sketch over and over until I could naturally get the proportions better. I check my proportions by importing the reference photo and a layer in Procreate, and comparing, noting where I was off. And the more I practiced, the better I got. The I completed the portrait in both digital pencil and pen. Here are some photos showing my process (that first drawing is a single line attempt to get a feel for the lines and space).

Cross hatching is a bit tedious, but I really love how meditative it is. Before I knew it, 90 minutes had gone by!

The other area I am practicing in with portraits in acrylic paint. I do a lot of celebrity digital or pencil portraits, but very few portraits in acrylic. And what I decided was that instead of focusing on resemeblance, I was going to focus on emotion. I found a photo of a young woman with a fierce expression, and decided I would give that a try. Acrylic painting is much harder than digital work, because you need to mix paints to create your color, rather than just pick from a palette. I had a hard time with her skin tone, and settled on a mix of Doxi Purple and Cadmium Orange which made a nice rich hue. Then as I was moving along and not too happy, I decided to check my proportions in Procreate. I do this by taking a picture of the painting, cropping it to size, and then comparing to my reference photo by importing each picture as a layer. And I found I was off. So I made some adjustments and off I went again. Here is where I left it, and not super happy where it is right now so I am taking a break for a bit.

And lastly, I still like to practice the digitally editing of photos with Photoshop and Procreate apps. So I made some Space Cows (sharing one below) that my friends on facebook enjoyed, and a Cosmic Symmetry series that I feel in love with.

So that has been my week so far! I have started a watercolor of a parrot, but have kind of left it behind. It may find itself in another post!

Have a great week my friends, and keep on practicing whatever it is that brings you joy!

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