Fun with Pipes

I have been on the lookout of late for fire hydrants, standpipes and other cool looking water delivery systems (Fire Plugs, Concentration, Standpipe Portrait).

I thought I would have some fun and incorporate some of the features from previous drawings into an abstractish, surrealistic portrait.

Today’s watercolor experiment:

In one of my previous sketches (What Luck?), the two water valves suggested eyes. I used this as a stepping off point for the skeleton of my face.

Watercolor Sketch - Skeleton - Surrealistic Portrait with Pipes

You might notice a fire hydrant, valves, hoses, meters and adjusters.

Before I started with the fire equipment, I drew an outline of a face in pencil. I placed the wheels representing the eyes in their proper position. I drew a generic upside-down fire hydrant where the nose should be and connected its fire hoses. I tangled up some hoses to fill out area of the forehead.

Among the colors I used were Winsor red for the hydrant cap, cadmium yellow pale and Winsor red for the body of the pipe. The center valve, behind the black wheel handle are painted turquoise teal. I used cadmium orange for the two elbow pipes, and Prussian blue for the body of the valve connecting them. For the tangles hoses I used my flesh-color formula (cadmium red, yellow ochre and titanium white).

Below is the completed portrait:

Watercolor Sketch - Surrealistic Portrait with Pipes

Idea Machine at Rest
12″x9″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

To fill out the skeleton, I used a brownish conte crayon, which I blended in with a stub and overpainted with the flesh color. I used my flesh-color formula for the neck,  neutral tint for the collar and shadow green for the shoulders of the shirt.

The idea cloud is a combination of Prussian blue and neutral tint.

Fun with brain parts

I included references to some brain parts including the infundibulum, gyri of the cerebral cortex and mirror neurons, even though the overall theme is the pneumatic model of the brain, ala Galen (sort of).

2 thoughts on “Fun with Pipes

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