Paintover

30 Paintings in 30 Days, Digital Art, Portraits
©2022, Emma Pittson, “September 23 Paintover”. Photoshop.

One of the advantages of digital painting software is that you can easily block out new ideas without wasting any paint (this is especially good for us cheapskates!). Remember this unfinished painting from the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge? One of the reasons why it ground to a halt was because I had doubts about keeping the gauzy scarf around her shoulders white or if I should go with a bolder colour – forest green, for example.

To be honest, I’m liking the addition of a coloured background more than the idea of adding a scarf, so I just might keep it like this. Of course, if anyone else has an idea they’d like to share, please feel free to do so!

From B&W Photo to Colour Painting

Digital Art, Portraits
©2022, Emma Pittson, “Beatrice”. Photoshop.

I’m been obsessed for a while now with trying to paint a colour portrait from a vintage black & white photograph, but I never felt ready to try until just recently. There was no objective behind this project other than to see if I could do it.

Keeping the “colour zones” of the face in mind, I essentially kept to: 1) yellow tones for the forehead, 2) red tones across the nose and cheekbones, and 3) cool tones for the jawline. I would go one step forward and include yellow/green tone for neck area, and also blue right under the eyes.

Here is the photo of actress/artist Beatrice Chanler that I used as reference:

Beatrice Chandler

Second Mayowa Nicholas Study

Digital Art, Portraits
©2019, Emma Pittson, “Mayowa Nicholas Face Study II”. Photoshop.

Another digital portrait from last year (or maybe even earlier!) that I’m only posting now (woops!). This is not the first time I’ve painted this model. What can I say? The proportions of her face just seem so mathematically perfect to me!

I really miss doing portraits. I am this close to putting the call out on Facebook or Instagram asking for people to send me pictures of them just so I don’t have to fall back on self-portraits or pestering my immediate family to pose for me.

Freckles!

Digital Art, Portraits
©2020, Emma Pittson, “Portrait of Salem Mitchell”. Artrage.

I experimented with a new (well, new to me) digital art software last year called ArtRage. It styles itself as a “natural” painting software, which I guess means that they don’t over-burden the program with all kinds of photo editing doodads and just keep to the essentials. ArtRage also limits their brushes to only a few wet and dry media, palette knives and the like, so if you’re new to digital art, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed. Best of all, they make very believable visible brush strokes, which is what first drew me to the software. Oh, and the price is very affordable – always a good thing! I had an easier time negotiating the colour palette in Artrage in comparison with Photoshop, but blending turned out to be a little difficult (but then, maybe I just haven’t experimented with it enough).

When I made this, I was trying to get away from working from images found on the internet, but Salem Mitchell has such glorious freckles that I couldn’t resist!

And… Back to Portraits!

Digital Art, Portraits
©2020, Emma Pittson, “Vintage Ariel”. Photoshop.

On a whim, I decided last week to crack open one of my many vintage magazines and see if I could reproduce an image. I am beyond amazed that I actually managed to 1) finish something, and 2) find that I’m happy with the result, especially considering how flat and grainy the original image was! I especially wanted to throw in the towel once I got to rendering the hair (never my strong suit). Let’s hear it for perseverence!

To me, this portrait is a direct result of all the practice, practice, practice that began with the portrait studies of the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge. Even though the reference image had matte colours and little light information, I had completed enough portraits over the last few years to be able to fill in the blanks. There’s no way I would have been able to do this without having put myself through that “boot camp”!