Friday, February 5, 2010

At Bernal Bagels and Donuts

"Bagels or Donuts?"
Watercolor
14 x 21"


This young woman works at our neighborhood, family-owned bagel and donut shop. Every Saturday Bob and I treat ourselves to one of their tasty lattes and a bagel while we read the newspaper. The family came here from Cambodia and they are in their shop every single day of the week. They open at 5 a.m. The family runs a second, more upscale shop in a nearby shopping center, but this basic shop is our favorite.

When I took Myrna Wacknov's portrait workshop, Myrna had us paint a side profile of a young person with smooth skin. I asked the young woman if I could take her picture and explained why. She was gracious and turned sideways to accommodate me. I ended up doing a different painting that day, but the young woman asked me about my progress and wanted to see the painting when complete. I figured I owed it to her to do this piece now. First I reversed the direction of the photo in Photoshop. Somehow I had a better feeling of her gazing right. On Thursday night at my art group I drew the piece on tracing paper , applied watercolor crayon to the lines on the reverse side, and traced over my drawing transferring the watercolor line to Arches watercolor paper as Myrna had taught us. I achieved a reasonable likeness. I selected the watercolor paper rather than Tyvek because the woman has such smooth skin.

This afternoon I got out the paints and completed the work. I really want to try a more experimental background, but first I must show the painting to the young woman in case it goes south on me. Of course, with my tracing paper ready to go, I can always do a second painting, the beauty of Myrna's process.

11 comments:

Sheila said...

I've always thought profiles were a little more challenging than 3/4 or full face portraits. I admire how you keep pushing the envelope in your artistic growth.

Christiane Kingsley said...

This young lady will be thrilled!Very nice! I do like the background as it is.
I admire how you always apply and build on what you have learned in a workshop.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, It's so much fun coming to your blog and seeing your work. I can see that you are getting a LOT out of your workshops. This portrait is a case in point, very nice!

hwfarber said...

I'm sure the young woman will love it. I like the colors.

PAMO said...

Beautiful colors Mary! You are just one of those giving people- very admirable. I'm sure she'll love it!!

Mary Paquet said...

Sheila, you are correct abou th profile -- I would prefer to do a 3/4 face, though the assignment originally called for profile -- good experience.

Christiane, Emy was very pleased as was Steven, a young relative who would love to do art but his busy life of college and working in the bagel shop doesn't allow that now. I am in awe of my "neighbors" and know I have been very blessed to be able to focus on art. Your comments about the background please me as I love the way your pourings emerge from the surface.

Peggy, thanks!! I want to keep learning and refining my art.

Hallie, I'm always interested in your comments; you are a most fascinating artist and person.

Pam, you have such heart!

Megha Chhatbar said...

Wowww...Very nice portrait! You are doing so well!

Color Pencil Drawing: Bunch of Roses

Nina E Jørgensen said...

This is a great portrait! Sounds like your workshops are going good! And yes it is quite odd the thing with the passports, I personally would prefer to have your version - color photo.

Mary Paquet said...

Megha, thanks for the encouragement.

Nina, I appreciate your checking in!

Watercolorist said...

This is lovely and such a unique style - which makes it so interesting. The colors work well. The painting is so fresh and vibrant. The theme for the next Marin Society of Artists exhibition is portraits - I have never done one, but will try to stretch myself. Interesting to see the technique you used.
Jean

Mary Paquet said...

Jean, I've really enjoyed watching your develop your landscape style -- just lovely. Can't wait to see what you will do with portraits.