Painting Shelah

Thursday, 6 November 2014

I haven't painted a proper picture or portrait in a very, very long time--so when I finally had the impetus to do it this afternoon, I stuck it out and finished this in one sitting (I'm so glad that the kids weren't too disruptive!).

Step 1: Find a subject


141104 Shelah Sketch

I just happened to see an update from SHELAH!!! on my FB timeline, and when I browsed through her photos I found this particular one which caught my attention right away. What prompted me to take up the challenge of painting her was the fact that I'd been itching to draw for the past few weeks, but never quite found the right subject nor the necessary time to dedicate to careful painting. Everything just happened to come together nicely this afternoon, so I just went for it.

Pulling off the sketch took me ages... Correctly done proportions is not my strong suit, so I tried my best to be as accurate as possible. I think I spent about 45 minutes on pencil work before I finally decided to switch to my watercolours.

Step 2: Do an underpainting first, then add layers of colour


141104 Shelah Underpainting

This is my first time trying this technique. I was aiming to layer colours until I reached the opacity that seemed right, and also for the whole painting to have a more unified feel in terms of the colour. I read that it also helps to preserve or introduce some luminosity to the final picture. An additional consideration was the colour of the paper itself--my journal's pages are an unusual light speckled green, so I wasn't quite sure if the colours would show up properly in the end.

Step 3: Add highlights and details with white pastel pencil


I used it for some parts of her hair where light hit her curls, the inner corners of her eyes, the diamante choker, earrings, and her black crystal ring.

141105 Shelah Final

I'm pretty chuffed with how this turned out, considering I'm so out of practice. I got careless with the dress though, it looks too one-dimensional. The hand was the most daunting and challenging part of the drawing for me, I usually get them all wrong. This attempt went serendipitously well.

On another note, I really admire Edwin for doing what he does with SHELAH. Making light of the weirdness of Malaysian society and politics by presenting satire while being fabulously dressed in drag. Looking forward to the next chance to see him in action. 🙂

Leave a Comment:

required asterisk denotes compulsory fields. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Your email address will never be published. This site makes use of Akismet and Gravatar services.

About this post

This post is filed under Sketching. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.