Monday, January 5, 2009

Portrait of artist John E. Vander Stelt


(click to big)
Transparent watercolor 20x25.5 cm (8"x10")
This is a painting of  John (website, blog), who is an artist living and working in Iowa.  We have never met, but traded photos of each other via Karin Jurick's blog.  Everyone who asked to participate received an anonymous photo to paint in any way and interpretation we wanted. You can go there and see how everyone painted everyone else.

(boring...the following is for other painters to read, only!!)
The first watercolor portrait I ever attempted was of my daughter at about 10 years old.  (Actually, it was about the 3rd watercolor I had ever attempted.)  Anyway, it was enough to scare me away from portraits for a long time.  However, I didn't want to get left out of the fun over at Karin's, so I sent my photo in and received a photo of John to paint. 
 
Then I chickened out.  After about a week I forced myself to sit down and at least draw him. (Sorry to disappoint anyone who guessed the drawing was of a stoic Israeli!) 

Then I sat around for another week or so and painted 2 little paintings of him and finally a larger one, each time getting a little more confident.  Having just a couple of more days left until the deadline, I finally locked myself in my room and painted this one last night using one of my last sheets of my favorite wc paper, Arches 140 cp. (If anyone wants to volunteer to shlep over a roll of this paper for me in Israel when you come on a visit, I would be very grateful and indebted!)  Anyway, it turned out to be fun and I am glad I did it.

33 comments:

Suzanne McDermott said...

Excellent!

Nartizt said...

I really like this alot. Simple and not fussy.

laura said...

Thanks for the "painter's only" addendum--very interesting! I like the portrait too--especially the limited palette, and the nose and mouth, which I always find impossible! (Though I haven't painted a person since my last life-drawing class several years ago). (PS I commented on the portrait of your daughter--beautiful!!--on Flickr, where my screen name is StargazerLulu.)

Leora said...

Yes, watercolor portraits are hard, and you did a fabulous job. Really got a feel for him.

Paintings by Irit Bourla said...

Excellent!
Glad you did it.
How are you write to me.
Neshikot, Irit

Bill Gavin said...

Wonderful! I don't know why you were worried...your paintings are always nice.

Bill Brauker said...

Really great work on this. Bravo!

Sheila said...

Wow.... I believe watercolor portraits are the most challenging. Awesome job on capturing his features and giving him such a warm welcome image. Wow....

Tamar Orvell said...

From the one who thought the subject was a perfect model of the stoic Israeli, it's fun learning who he is... a stoic Iowan? Nice work.

Kathleen said...

I can totally identify with your process... my first thoughts were 'why did I sign up for this??'
Excellent results!
Kathleen

Dean H. said...

This is a hugely successful portrait, Carol! You knew just what to include and what to leave out! Love your value and contrast control!!

Edward Burton said...

Great portrait, Carol - I love it! Wonderful job!

adebanji said...

Very Direct and Powerful handling of watercolour! Great Piece!

Peggy Montano & Paintings said...

All of the above. This is great.

John Vander Stelt said...

Carol, you had no need to fret. It turned out great! Well, considering the subject that is! I was amused by the stoic Israeli comments. That made me look at myself in a whole new way. I will post a link on my blog to yours. Thanks for including mine. I look forward to checking in on you more often. - the Stoic Iowan

Vern Schwarz said...

Both the sketch and the painting are superb. I'm surprised that you didn't submit the first, I mean even the title was cool...Drawing of a guy!
You should never be without arches 140 cp paper though, not the way you paint.

hissnhowl said...

I'm so glad you bravely continued after your earlier fretting (which I understand completely!!). The painting turned out BEAUTIFULLY - really well done!

Dana Cooper Fine Art said...

Wow! Beautiful portrait, and I love your 'paintings from a previous life'!!

VanDerHoekArt said...

I'm so glad you didn't chicken out on this challenge because the portrait turned out so well! Really nice job!

Scott said...

I sometimes go to Karin's blog to see what the challenge is. I missed the one you participated in. I will tell you I scrolled up and down the portraits a few times and kept coming back to the portrait you did. Well done!

Mona said...

I like the drawing and the watercolor both equally well. Great idea to warm up to it as you did with smaller tries first. Would you consider posting those too?

dominique eichi said...

Both are so good with their own beauty. I'm so glad you stuck with it , it was so worth it.

ASliceOfLifeToGo.com said...

Carol - John is a close friend of mine. My first thought when I saw your painting was, "That's him." Well done. And the way you painted him, he does look like an Israeli! I spent some time on your site and enjoy your work very much. I've added it to my "favorites" so I can check in periodically. I can't draw a straight line if you hand me a ruler so I am most impressed by anyone who can paint, especially watercolors. Thanks for brightening my day with your talent and for the glimpse into your world in Tel Aviv. Blessings to you! - Todd Thompson - Lubbock, Texas - USA

Marian Fortunati said...

I'd be happy to email you the article if you'd send me your email address.

Theresa Rankin said...

This struck me as excellent the minute I saw it!! I am not a water colorist....it intimidates me somewhat so for me it is even better!

Edward Burton said...

Hi Carol, Thank you for your very kind comment about my portrait of Karin - it is much appreciated.

Ken Goldman said...

Carol,
I too thought your portrait of John looked like a "stoic Israeli." But now after seeing his comment I understand. It's a very nice portrait.
Also, I enjoyed your paintings from a previous life. They reminded me of some of some places I saw during a visit to Israel.

Speaking of that, I wish the IDF much success in crippling Hamas once and for all.

Stay safe and artistic. If you have any insights you'd care to share about the crisis, I'd love to hear from someone who is actually there.
Best,
Ken

Edward Burton said...

Hi Carol, Dominique Eichi has a copy of the Southwest Art article on her blog.

marcello murru said...

Dear Carol:
In 1800 -1850 the art of watercolor was very nice, special the landscape and some portrait.
Some of theme was quite near the iperealisme!and so good tecnic!
So in this case I prefer the color version ,the velature look like meausure for the time,like the ring for the three.
So for me this small paint come from 100-150 year a go!!!
very very nice,bellissimo!
marcello

Victoria on Okinawa said...

Love the intensity in this portrait but at the same time there is a gentleness about him. Love the pencil drawing before this post too. In that one he looks like a baseball player about to pitch. Painting very nicely done.

Camille LaRue Olsen said...

Carol, now that I'm finally done myself I have meant to tell you how wonderful I think your watercolor is! I *totally* related to your drawn out process and holing yourself up for two days at the end, lol! I love it that so many of us wonder "what have I done?" about signing up for these things. But I have never regretted finishing even one and I'm so grateful for what amounts to an online art class for me. Thanks for your inspiration to try watercolor because you do it soooo beautifully! (and your drawings -- WOW) Happy New Year to you!

Trevor Lingard said...

Hello Carol
Stunning work.
Looking forward to following your blog.
Regards
Trevr

Ramana KV said...

Hmm.. This is perfect.. He must be very happy :)