Spitting Image

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On this occasion we’ll give a twist to the meaning of “Portrait of a Friend”. The portrait above is not mine (well, it is, as I own it!); rather, it is a portrait of me (as the sitter) painted by my friend Manuel Melero, a very gifted artist, as you can see. I think I look a bit older in the portrait than in real life, but maybe that is just my wishful thinking. In any case, he has really caught me, much better than I have been able to do in the modest efforts that have been posted here previously. Now it is my turn to paint him; I hope I manage a likeness half as good as this one!

 

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Simonetta, on her graduation day

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Simonetta was three when I first met her; yes, time flies! I remember how she hid behind her mom when I said “Hello!”. Recently she graduated in Political Sciences, and I painted this, a reasonable likeness (could do no better) to commemorate the fact. With love, Simo, this is for you!

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Exercise

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No friend of mine, this one. It is the result of my efforts during a masterclass on watercolour portraiture by the very gifted Juan Lobatón, that I attended last weekend. The likeness is decent. It is actually a lot easier to achieve a reasonable likeness of people with strongly marked facial features, as was the case here. The class was not only informative and great fun, I also met a lot of new friends there. As usual, comments and critique welcome.

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Twitter Friend

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My last post this year (today is 30th Dec 2014). I hope that next year I will be able to post more regularly. To all of you who read this (precious few I fear), I wish you all a very happy new year 2015!

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Doppelgaenger, version #2

IMGP3094 Another attempt at a self-portrait, this time executed in monochrome using Payne’s grey only. Ok, I know, I could work at this a bit longer and get it to a more finished state, but it may get too overworked and I prefer to leave it as it is. Portraits continue to be a complete mystery to me: a wrong touch here or there and you can completely spoil whatever meagre likeness you might have accomplished, or, more rarely (at least in my case), suddenly make a decent likeness magically appear where there wasn’t one. Here there is some resemblance to yours truly, at least I think so, though not everyone who has seen it agrees. Anyway, definitely a better likeness than I got in Doppelgaenger #1 below. Done directly in front of the mirror, first a pencil sketch and then watercolour. One of these days I will try again using colour. Comments and critique welcome!

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A pair of new friends with whom I’ve already been to a few places (mixed media, ink and watercolour)

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About a year ago I posted an attempt at painting a pair of old friends; I still use them but only in dry weather. These are the new friends that have taken over the responsibility of taking me places, especially when the weather is not so dry. It is my first serious experiment at working with ink and watercolour, and I loved the experience. I first made a preliminary drawing with pencil, then inked it in with a thin nib. Thicker lines and black washes were done with ink and a brush, and finally I coloured the background and the leathery parts with watercolour. Sorry for the unfrequent posting of late; I’ll try to keep it up at a more regular pace! Hope you like it. As usual, comments, critique or offers to buy (ha!) welcome!

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Doppelgaenger

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A while ago I started sketching for a self-portrait. Half way through I lost faith in my efforts and decided to loose myself completely. What came out was actually a portrait of my doppelgaenger. In other words, a portrait of the Mr Hyde to your Dr Hernández. Yes, I know, it may strike those of you who know me as an impossibility that there may be an evil side to me, but, I assure you, there is! He is lurking there, hidden somewhere in the folds of my twisted personality … Ha ha ha (read with a cavernous voice).

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Assignment

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My first post this year, so Happy New Year! Some time ago I decided to try out the experience of following an on-line class; Craftsy had this very tempting one entitled “Portraits in Watercolour”, by Matt Rota, so I enrolled on it, and the photo above shows the result of my “homework”. I don’t yet know what the instructor’s opinion will be on this (in other words, I don’t yet know whether I pass or flunk!), but I am not dissatisfied with the likeness. I think I went too bold with some of the washes too soon, but next time I will be more careful. It was good exercise. As usual, comments and critique welcome.

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Akhenaton & Nefertiti (double portrait)

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Akhenaton and Nefertiti (Taton and Titi for short), kings of upper and lower Egypt, slayers of the rodent, defeaters of the invading arthropod, generous and magnanimous to their humble human servants; their full list of titles would be too long for this post. Akhenaton one day, some three years ago, walked through the double doors of the horizon, and is no longer of this earth, he is of the sky. Nefertiti still reigns over her fortunate subjects, so that they can, in the words of Neruda, experience what it feels like to caress a tiger.

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Fast, loose and monochrome (young man with a nose ring)

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Done in one sitting (actually I was standing, but in a manner of speaking…), hence fast; loose, as in “big blobs of paint with a wet brush”, and using Payne’s grey only, hence monochrome. Based on a photo of someone I don’t know, so this is not really a friend who could claim to belong in this blog, but I feel that if the model had really sat for the portrait, we could have become friends in the process. The likeness is decent, though not perfect. That is the good thing about painting portraits of people you don’t know: you feel less pressure about getting the likeness right! As usual, comments, critique and advice more than welcome.

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