Friday, February 5, 2010

At Bernal Bagels and Donuts

"Bagels or Donuts?"
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.


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.

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.