Stylized Portraits

Today’s watercolor experiment:

With the artwork of Alexej Jawlensky still on my mind, I tried to create portraits of my brother Mike* in as simple a way as possible.  It takes a lot of work to be simple!

I revisited yesterday’s portrait (Mike Crying) with the idea of finding a way to create the same feeling with as few brush strokes as possible. In my first attempt, I worked from memory.

Watercolor: Abstract, Stylized Portrait of Mike #1

Stylized Mike #1
12″x9″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

Two features of this sketch worked: the eye looking at the viewer and the delicate hand supporting Mike’s head. However, if one compares it to yesterday’s sketch, the impact is much less.

Watercolor: Portrait Abstract Brother Mike Crying

Crying Mike
12″x9″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

I tried again:

Watercolor: Abstract, Stylized Portrait of Mike #2

Stylized Portrait of Mike #2
12″x9″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

I deliberately placed the head off-center and partially off the page. But again, the impact is not as great as my attempt from yesterday.

I do think it possible to distill the salient features of the original photograph into a stylized abstract composition consisting of shapes and colors.

It should be a simple matter, but it isn’t. I’ll keep trying.


 

  • Mike is my older brother who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: