My favourite type of sketching for relaxation is sketching faces. I never get tired of trying to capture a likeness, and I find every new face is a new challenge. Here are some I’ve done over the last few months, all photo references were from Sktchyapp.
These first two are playing around in an A5 journal with plain drawing paper. I know it’s not suitable for watercolour, and I didn’t intend to use it, but I sometimes get carried away and can’t help myself.
The paper wrinkles when wet and can only take very limited washes but that stops me messing around too much.
This one I sketched in the basic shapes with a red coloured pencil before defining the features lightly with ink, then adding watercolour. This would have worked better if I was able to mix the colours on the paper in the initial wash instead of trying to do a second.
This next sketch was approached the same way but I used a Pentel brush pen to indicate the textures of the hat and scarf. A little watercolour pencil was added in the shadow areas, as I learnt from the previous painting that this paper doesn’t like repeated layers.
Then I switched to Strathmore toned paper as it’s great to use for ink and gouache, and the tan colour provides a warm background.
I prepainted this page with red earth acrylic paint before using a white chalk pencil for the initial sketch. Black and white gouache were the only colours used to create the drama.
Gouache can be used on a great variety of surfaces, so I used it here on the thin plain paper in my journal. I kept the initial ink line sketch light and almost covered by the paint. Even on this thin paper several layers of paint can be applied, but once again too much water in the mix will cause the paper to wrinkle as you can see in the background wash.
Same approach here but I wanted used a heavier application of ink brush pen over the paint.
And for something rather different this final image is acrylic on heavy weight watercolour paper.