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The Teresa Sharpe Tattoo Challenge Painting Tutorial Part 4

Did you miss parts one, two, or three? Read them now!

READ PART ONE

READ PART TWO

READ PART THREE

alcohol ink portrait of teresa sharpe on yupo paper

Going very slowly, and building color in thin layers, I began to lay in my shadows. I also blocked in her clothes, adding a pop of blue for variety. Variety is important when making art, but it’s hard to find the balance between Unity and A Bunch Of Awesome Stuff To Look At. If you’d like to read a tutorial about the dynamic tension between unity and variety, hit me up. If I get enough responses, I’ll make one!

 

alcohol ink portrait of teresa sharpe on yupo paper

Things are starting to look good. We’ve finally left The Ugly Stage (unless you count my feet) but we’re still not home yet.

A lot of artists ask, ‘How do I know when a piece of art is done?’

I don’t know, but I can tell you when I stop. When there’s no longer anything on the canvass that looks so terrible that I have to keep going. That’s when I stop. You’ll have to find your own truth.

 

alcohol ink portrait of teresa sharpe on yupo paper

In this step I’ve lost a lot of what the previous image had going for it. I also added drops of yellow to the white in the background.  I got rid of the white in the background because I felt it was distracting from the focal point. I chose yellow to get rid of the white in the background because yellow is the compliment of purple, and right now the background is a relatively neutralized purple.

Pro Tip: Complimentary colors almost always look good together.

I also added shadows to her clothing and softened the shadows on her throat. Then I defined the back of her hair a little more. That’s a move I wish I could take back.

 

alcohol ink portrait of teresa sharpe on yupo paper

I decided that the piece of hair which overlapped the crow needed to be taken out. It was too confusing. While the first round of crow erasing was drying, I began defining the back of her head with white acrylic paint. This is a cool technique that I learned from Schiele and Mucha.

egon schiele painting

A painting by the artist Egon Schiele

In this painting, Mucha uses a thick brown line to define the outside edge of his figure while leaving the inside lines thin.

In this painting, Mucha uses a thick brown line to define the outside edge of his figure while leaving the inside lines thin.

See how the thick lines define the figures and help separate them from the background?

 

teresa sharpe portrait in alcohol inks

After a few more hours of poking and prodding, I ended up with this. There are parts I like and parts I don’t, but that will always be the case. You’ve got to push through that Ugly Stage, but you don’t have to make it perfect. In fact, most of the time it’s better if you don’t try.

If you enjoyed the tutorial you can support my art by:

LISTENING TO MY PODCAST

or

READING MY MEMOIR

or

BEING MY FRIEND ON FACEBOOK

It would mean a lot.

Thanks for stopping by,

Nathan

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