Blind Portrait

Today’s watercolor experiment:

Yesterday I did not take my eyes of the plant I was drawing. I did not look at the paper. Today I did the opposite. I closed my eyes and did not look at the paper or the subject. The subject was my mother’s face. I used to practice drawing her face when I came over to visit. I was working on memorize it but I only got to her eyebrows. They were distinctively arched. The rest of her face was more complicated and, perhaps less distinctive.


My pencil drawing, with my eyes closed, really missed the mark. Except for the eyebrows. I drew two lines for her eyes a little half circle for her nose and a line for her mouth.  None of it lined up.


I did paint with my eyes open. I used my flesh formula (cadmium red, yellow ochre and titanium white). For the darker areas I added a bit of Permanent Green #1 (Holbein). The face looks nothing like Mom’s.

One thing I remembered the last time I saw Mom was when the doctor held her eye open and shined a flashlight in it. The next thing he said was, “Sorry for your loss.”  I expected that. I had just seen her ECG number go to zero. She was very ill.

Watercolor: Portrait

Blind Portrait
16″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

The eyes are how I remember them. I know I got the eyebrows right.


2 thoughts on “Blind Portrait

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