My first real attempt at watercolor [Archive] - Artist Forum

: My first real attempt at watercolor

07-22-2018, 08:07 AM
So I haven't really painted or drawn since high school (a long time zgo). But the last few years I have gotten the "bug" back and every once In a while i will do piece. My friends are always l I'm keeping "can you make me something?" So my friend Payton asked me to do a portrait of him and his wife for an anniversary gift. He told me to choose my medium. I sketched in ink, and finished in watercolor, which I really was never great at. I am fairly happy with the result however, but looking for tips.

07-28-2018, 05:34 AM
Aye, hi. I'm not a specialist myself but I guess I can suggest you something. But please notice that my advises are applicable only If your desire was to make a realistic picture. If you tried to make more expressionist piece, it may probably do very well without any changes.

So, if your desire was to make it realistic I would point out to this:

1.It seems like you used too much pure black colour. In real life there usually is no pure black colour, if it seems black you should better compose it of so called complementary colours(e.g. green and red).

2. The picture in a general way is poorly contrasted. The contrasts, I believe, the most essential part of the realistic fine arts after correctly drawn perspective and proportions. It pertains not only to the watercolour but to any images including monochrome ones. In some places you instinctively left the white spots around the parts with the same colour and saturation(i.e. the boots of your friend's wife and the rear wheel of the bike), but that's rather a poor way of doing contrasts, it's quite unrealistic. In the same time the background around your friends shirt and his bike had to be whether much more or much less saturated so that the foreground was more distinct.

3. It looks like you've left the bike's fenders and tank completely unpainted. That's probably as wrong as to use a pure black colour. Although sometimes you can leave some parts of your painting unpainted it's usually done on the periphery of the painting to distinguish the central object.

4. As I mentioned above, I believe the most important tenet of the realistic imagery it correctly drawn perspective and proportions. Though sometimes you may admit some inaccuracies it's better that they were indistinguishable. Here the front wheel of the bike is clearly bigger than the rear one, it spoils the general impression of the painting though the bike is not a main object here. It creates a reverse perspective, which is very unpleasant feature in realistic paintings.

5. Some details on the foreground are quite poorly detailed. While it's completely acceptable to omit the details on the background (in fact it's even a better to omit them on the background for thus you separate it from the foreground), it taints the impression when they are omitted on the foreground.

Here is the your picture with the pointed notions. Each number loosely corresponds to the point I made in post, hope it will help:

07-28-2018, 05:38 AM
55999 The image with the notions marked with red arrows