I am joining our local art club for an exhibition in December. It is our clubs 75th anniversary so we decided the theme of the show is “Honouring Our Past”. I decided to paint a portrait of my grandfather who was a geologist at the Hollinger Gold Mine for most of his career.
The most difficult decision was whether to paint this in watercolour or oils. I decided to use watercolour because of the ease of just sitting down to work with minimal effort and quick cleanup. It is also the medium I have used since I started painting. I am still exploring oils and the result might not be what I envisioned.
I started by wrapping watercolour paper (Fabriano Artistico 140 lb) around a primed canvas. The canvas provides extra strength and structure. I drew out his portrait from an old black and white image. I still have a few adjustments to make on the eyes to get them just right. The rest of the face isn’t done in detail. I sketch out enough to get the proportions right and note changes in value that are important. All the rest of the details are added as I paint. I already know the plaid shirt is going to cause some extra thought.