I got a late start but decided I would take part in Wet Canvas’ All Media Event. It’s a pretty interesting activity. Reference photos are posted over the weekend and you have a half an hour to select one and two hours to finish your piece (unless you don’t, and then you can post it as a work in progress.) This took me more than an hour, but less than an hour and a half, somewhere in there. I was working quickly – it’s little more than a sketch, really, but it was fun to do. You can execute your piece of work in any medium you want. I need practice in painting people so I picked this one and changed the background and attitude of the head to suit myself.


  1. Linda
    April 28, 2006

    I’d looked at this photo — you did a really great job with this gentleman! Very classy, even if it is “just a sketch”.

  2. Sioux
    April 28, 2006

    Wonderful, Karen!

  3. TeriC
    April 28, 2006

    I have not seen the photo but if he was walking down the street I would know him. Wonderful job Karen!

  4. endment
    April 29, 2006

    Great image – I am impressed — what one can do with a brush that has been practicing! :)

  5. Ann Fortenberry
    April 29, 2006

    I haven’t seen the photo, Karen, I love your brushwork, as I have said before, and you have put so much of a person in there, that I feel I want to reach out and know him.
    Annie ( “Beginagin” )

  6. Anna
    April 29, 2006

    Very nicely painted, Karen! Did you do it all at once or did you paint it in layers, waiting for each layer to dry before painting the next?

  7. Starr
    April 29, 2006

    very impressive sketching! nicely done.

  8. Karen
    April 29, 2006

    Thanks everyone.

    The photo can be found here (scroll down)

    As you can see, I tilted his head differently and changed the eye direction so it looked somewhat less like a snapshot. I also gave him a little more defined chin. One of the challenges of painting in this way is that with the limitation of two hours, there is a temptation to cut corners at the drawing stage, which is where capturing a likeness begins. If I’d been painting this in acrylic, gouache or digitally (in some opaque media) I would have slimmed his left jowl, for example, and made some other changes. As an exercise, I’m satisfied with it as my main objective was to work on modeling a head, staying loose and getting interesting skin tones

    If you want to see many different versions people drew and painted, go here:

    I was too tardy to be included, but I certainly enjoyed seeing all the others.

    Anna, to answer your question, I painted it in about three layers, with drying in between – but you can see the “bloom” on the right where I started painting over damp too soon.
    The dominant colors here are burnt sienna and Payne’s gray

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