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September 2013

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The Flute Player


The Flute Player, originally uploaded by graphicartepsi.

I am working on an article for Watercolor Magic, and wanted to try a Hans Holbein the Younger approach to portraiture--a clean line drawing with just a bit of color in the face. Holbein usually used chalk, and I chose graphite and watercolor on vellum paper, but I was happy with the result.

It's my good friend Kevin Morgan, with his quintessentially Irish face--Kev does in fact have red hair and eyebrows, but...going for the Holbein effect here.   (Actually this would have been quite colorful--his hair is red, and he was wearing a red Henley and a forest green jacket.  Obviously I was aiming for subtle!)

So now he'll know how he'll look when he's his dad's age! Joe has white, white hair, but a face as Irish as Kevin's. Someday I'll paint him too...

Comments

That is lovely Kate. I wish I lived close enough to ask you to sketch me. I always love your portraiture.
Ahem. I worked from a PHOTO, sweetie! You get me one you really like and I can do it!
Oh! Well I always had these mental images of you sitting watching people doing things and sketching them on the sly. Hee!

Well I may have to take you up on that! I'd love to see me rendered by Kate in sketch and watercolour! :)
I DO do a lot of that, sweetie. I draw Joseph in person, as well as people in airports, restaurants, parking lots and so forth. But I had something specific in mind for this technique (needed a good view of the face, but also some clothing and preferably something interesting going on, like the wooden flute)so I poked through my resource photos. Thank goodness I had some printed out, because my G-drive, where I have my resource photos parked, is on strike!

And you know I'd love to draw your sweet self!
Ooooo - that brings back memories! I played the recorder (which is what this instrument seems to be - or maybe a penny whistle) for years and then eventually taught myself to play a real flute (after learning guitar, clarinet and alto saxophone!)...
By the way - what is vellum paper like? I imagine it being shiny and smooth...
It actually has a bit of tooth, but not a lot. It's Bristol vellum, not real (kidskin) vellum...too thin to take much watercolor, but it did fine with just this much.
It's actually my favorite wooden whistle--but Kev plays transverse flute, I think that's what it's called, and a few other things. He's very talented...

WOW, you played a lot of instruments! My late husband played sax and clarinet...

(Anonymous)

What a beautiful and sensitive portrait! I like the way you didn´t paint every part of it, even if that means the man got white hair. :)
/nina j
Thank you, Nina! I realized that many of Holbein's portraits were of people wearing caps or headpieces that covered their hair, so I couldn't decide whether to watercolor his hair, or not! I ended up doing a Photoshopped version with the hair colored in, and I like it, but not quite enough to mess with the original, I think!

(Anonymous)

beautiful

Cathy,
Your drawing is really lovely! The simplicity is what seems to draw my attention. Your blog is one of the more interesting that I've stumbled upon. I enjoyed reading your entries. As a fellow portrait artist, I can relate to so much of what you've written.
Thanks,
Peggi

Peggi Habets Studio
www.habets-studio.com
www.habets-studio.blogspot.com

Re: beautiful

Thank you, Peggi, I'm glad you liked it!

You do beautiful work...I especially liked Spike and Andy in your pet portrait section, animals are SUCH a challenge, especially in watercolor!