Old Sailor

I stumbled upon this course through DeviantArt, where I've been following Gabrielle for some time. Having enjoyed creating art through most of my life, although on a much lower skill level, I decided to click the link to the course and after having the option to participate for free, I decided to give it a try.


My earlier experiences in digital painting had been very limited attempts many years ago, and were in fact almost non-existant. I had gravitated towards drawing, although I've never been satisfied with what I've been able to produce by drawing, and there have been major gaps between my pictures due to frustration and burying my tablet in the wardrobe for long periods of time.

It turned out that giving this class a chance was one of the best decisions I have ever made regarding to improving myself as an artist. The first piece I did by following these videos was a portrait of my mother, and once it was finished, I decided that I'm not going to leave it there, and I challenged myself to complete a portrait painting from a photo reference every day for the next 30 days. 

For this particular painting, which is numbered as portrait 6, I chose a photo of my grandfather for a reference.

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Here is the original, colored picture. As I was going after a portrait, I cropped the picture to fit my needs.

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After this, it was go time.

I took several work in progress shots, but for the sake of conveniency, here's a gif of the work stages instead.

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I chose to sketch some things before I began painting down the values, mainly because I felt that there were so many things that I'd miss otherwise. I was terribly intimidated by the idea of painting his beard, but you can't succeed unless you try. In the end, I'm very satisfied with the outcome.

I decided to use textures to simulate the fabric of his hat and the skin on his neck, since I wasn't quite confident enough to start painting weathered and aged skin.

You can find the cloth texture here and the skin texture here.

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Here's the final product. I'm fairly satisfied with it, especially because drawing older people and men is definitely not my forte. But as this month is the 30 Day Portrait Challenge-month to me, I decided to put my insecurities to the side and challenge myself.

You can see other works I've painted with the help of this class on my DeviantArt page. Unfortunately the gallery is missing one of the portraits, my fourth one, as I found that I was much too dissatisfied with it and decided that it wasn't worth publishing.

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