This week broadcaster/journalist/author, Clare Balding, was painted by PAOTY 2014 finalist, Aine Divine from her home in Scotland. (Her first name is pronounce ‘Onya’, if you were wondering.)
Clare sat quite still, compared to previous sitters, so it was easier to sketch from the live show, and although she did talk a lot her tales were very funny and interesting to hear. Most of us still preferred to continue working on our portraits afterwards from a screenshot.
Aine is a professional artist and uses many different mediums but does love to work in watercolour with big varnishing brushes and doesn’t sketch the person’s face first. She uses her watercolours thick, with lots of pigment, to give rich colour and doesn’t mind if the paints run. In fact she added splashes to Clare’s portrait with the colours she was using.
Aine used an Imperial size sheet of 535gsm Bockingford watercolour paper, not stretched at all as it’s a heavy weight paper that can take a lot of water. For the skin tones she used cadmium red and sap green, mixed with various amounts of water to give different tones. For the cooler tones she used viridian green mixed with alizarin crimson and Clare’s dark shirt was a mixture of French ultramarine and van Dyke brown. If she goes over an area that should be light, Aine retrieves the highlight by rubbing away the paint with a fine, damp brush to carve out the shape needed.
Aine uses a big palette so she can get her 2″ brushes in. In the palette the warm/cool colours Aine has are sap green/viridian green, lemon yellow (not sure I heard this correctly?)/cadmium yellow, cerulean blue/french ultramarine, and also cadmium orange, burnt sienna and van Dyke brown.
Tai’s top tip this week was inspired by the quote “a good painting is the combination of head, heart and hand.” He advised to get to know your paints, their colours, how they mix, how they behave. Know your tools of brushes, palette knives and wedges and how you use them for different mark making. Finally, know your surface and how it behaves with paint on it, whether it’s paper, a canvas or board. Experiment with them all on your painting journey.
Here are our paintings…
Susan initially set up to use acrylic but was pleased that Aine was painting in watercolours that she swapped to use them too. She used the colours that Aine painted with to get the skin colours. Susan did not draw Clare’s face but dived straight in with a big brush and loved it.
Steve used watercolour to achieve this sepia coloured portrait.
Angela D caught the last hour of the session then continued afterwards from a screenshot, taking 2 hours in total.
Rosie drew Clare’s face on Sunday then continued painting in acrylics on Monday and Tuesday, on Hahnemuhle watercolour paper 40cm x 40cm.
Juliet drew Clare a few times, using many pencil lines to create volume and texture in her portraits.
Cynthia used pastels on Sunday then painted another portrait in watercolours. She like Aine’s style of painting loose and free with big brushes.
Dot used graphite wash pencils and water brushes for her portrait and worked quickly, achieving Clare’s likeness after only 2 hours 40 minutes.
Tracy had trouble watching this week as the link kept buffering, so worked from a screenshot from the Sky Arts Facebook page. She used the same colours that Aine used and was surprised how sap green and cadmium red can give so many tones of skin colour. The main portrait of Clare is in watercolour and took about 2 hours.
Here are the judges top 3 adult, top 3 youngster and Aine Divine’s finished watercolour portrait of Clare…