Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mr. Parker's Challenge

Mr. Parker's Challenge
Interestingly enough, I have learned many new things by bloggging. One is the painting above. Somehow, Jack Parker (http://windowstothewords.blogspot.com/) and I found each other in the blog world. Mr. Parker puts photos on his blog to challenge one to paint, photograph or write in response to the photos he has posted. For June, his challenge was painting old people because Mr. Parker noticed his wrinkles on his face. When I saw the photos, I immediately thought, "not gonna do it, I don't do people, that is for artists that do people." I have never felt the urge or desire to paint a portrait. Of course I have had to try whole figures in various classes. I always would avoid hands, feet and faces! It would pain me when I would get to these parts of the body. I would try but not get very far. I could never make them look realistic. So I have lots of sketches of figures without hands, feet or faces. In any paintings, it is only a figure to represent a person as part of the painting, it is never a person as the subject. Anyhow, I don't know what made me accept the challenge. It's not like I don't have a zillion photos in my waiting to paint pile. Maybe just the fact of having a challenge and maybe needing one?
I started the painting above with one baby step after another. I made the grid and did a value sketch as in my previous post. And then it was time to paint. How scary is that! I held my breath and put down the first washes. I was so scared that I would stop and go about my day (this was Sunday and the whole family was home). After doing a mundane task like making lunch or cleaning the kitchen, I would go back to the painting, hold my breath, add another layer of color and then leave to tend to the family. By the end of the day, it was 90% complete!
When I submitted it to James Parker's blog, I added a comment in response to him noticing his wrinkles. I told him to think of his wrinkles as flower petals. That is how I painted these wrinkles, the same as I know how to paint the petals of a rose.
(Personally, as a woman, I don't think I would ever accept wrinkles happily, I am fighting them every step of the way).
11x14 original watercolor by Liana Yarckin


  1. Liana, I like this very much. For someone who says she doesn't like to do faces, I think you did a marvelous portrait. I admire watercolorists in general, but to pull off a face to boot in this hard medium deserves applause!
    Hating every wrinkle I meet too.:-))

  2. Thank you so much! This was beginner's luck, because the two portraits I have done since this do not sing to me like this one. But, it has brought a challenge to me, so I keep doing them for fun and learning.

  3. Hallo Liana,
    dieses Bild ist wunderschön geworden, es gefällt mir sehr gut.

    viele Grüße Werner


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts. I love hearing from you!