Guinness and Gouache Portrait WIP

How could I keep a blog about dark beer and not include Guinness? When I was first introducing myself to beer in general, Guinness was the only dark beer I knew. My first pint was an entirely new experience. I won’t go into the Guinness details, since most people are likely to know them already, and if not, go here.

Guinness will always have a place in my heart, but after having tasted so many other dark beers, it doesn’t stand out. It’s smooth, and actually quite bland compared to some. It’s a drinkable beer – you can have it with dinner – as opposed to some that are an experience, or a dessert, by themselves. Rating:

M: 7
N: 7

Gouache Portrait WIP – the last installment, I promise

This is simply a visual step-by-step of my portrait of Grandpa. Other than the toning wash, all the steps show opaque application with very little blending. The background was done with layered washes, dabbing, and a sponge. The illo board I worked on curled up after the first wash, so the photos are a bit distorted. It is also why the first picture includes a beer bottle.

And the final result: link

10 thoughts on “Guinness and Gouache Portrait WIP”

  1. Thanks for sending/sharing these
    photos Meg! They are great…and
    so are the beer reviews!!

  2. Hey Dave!

    I spent some time working out the values in monotone, as practice: [link]. You can see the photo and a couple studies. These helped me later on.

    The first step I took was choosing the colors. The flesh tones were yellower for the forehead area, redder for the cheek area, and bluer for the chin.

    I had drawn some of the value demarkations on the board, but only the major divisions (wrinkles, obvious lines, highlights). Then I went in with the medium values in each of the three color zones. I knew where the highlights and darkest values were, so I put the medium values in-between, leaving areas around the darks and highlights so that I could create smooth transitions.

    Throughout the painting process, I kept referencing the photo as a value guideline. However, I did push the darks darker to make a more dramatic contrast.

    Hope that answers your question. If not, let me know!


  3. This is a very interesting style and a very striking portrait with a very graphic feel. I was curious about the process you used to map the different values. Could you explain how you managed to separate and create those interesting shapes?

  4. Thank you so much for being open about your process and willing to provide a thorough explanation. I really appreciate you taking the time. I am a 30 yr. old military vet and I am back in school full-time pursuing a BFA, majoring in illustration. I am right now in the midst of my freshman year. My point is, I need all the help I can get! I’m gonna look back through the CA threads as well, many of those Fredflickstones threads no longer have images. I go by Anuran on Wetcanvas,CA and a host of other forums so I’m sure I will get an opportunity to talk to you again. I’ll also be able to show my first Gouache painting soon…it’s due wednesday :) Thank you again.

  5. I think every artist should be open & helpful, because they wouldn’t be where they are today without the help of others. I love sharing what I know and reading what other artists have shared.

    I wish you the best of luck with your BFA and your career – I’m also a bit jealous. I really would like to get a BFA someday.

    I know FredFlickstone’s (aka Ron Lemen) images are gone, and it’s a shame. But here are some links that shows some of his work and tutorials:
    Light and Dark
    Ron’s Paintings
    Ron’s Paintings again

    I’ll see you on the boards (I’m “meglyman”)… can’t wait to see your gouache!


  6. What abou the blending? This does not look like a paint by number picture, wher we have all the values and colors painted on and unblended. You did each section in a pragmatic way, reminding me of when I did paint by numbers as a kid, but, your result also has blending. Did you scumble? If so, could you shouw us how? It’s just beautiful!!!

  7. Lumpafur,

    The method I used really reminded me of paint-by-number – but I think if you have small enough, detailed enough areas, it doens’t look like a paint-by-number at all.

    I tried a bit of blending on the edges of the left chin, but I was a complete newbie at it and just made it look muddy. Honestly, there was very little edge blending, anywhere. I think the most I did was in the shirt collar.

    No scumbling either – I didn’t even know what scumbling was when I painted this! I am still learning a lot about gouache, but haven’t tried scumbling or glazing yet. I will, though, and will post about it when I do!

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