24 February 2009

Portrait in Gouache: Ross Lynn Moore Sr.

This is the last portrait from my "Portraits in Gouache" class. This is not high art, but it was a great lesson in value and form, and I got a portrait of my dad out of it. The source of this portrait was a color film photo, so I didn't have a clean digital image to work from. It forced me to carefully consider value relationships and required some shape invention. The idea of shape invention is often emphasized in class. Shape, value, edge, then color...in that order of importance.

I described the method in last week's post. The image above is the final portrait. Below left is the original source photo, below middle is during the painting stage, and below right is just before blending. Since this is a posthumous portrait I chose an image where my dad is looking straight out, to create a strong direct connection with the viewer. I also pulled a lot of straight lines to give the portrait a chiseled, masculine appearance. I used Robert Simmons synthetic white sable brushes and Winsor & Newton Designers gouache. The painting took about 18 hours to complete.

Finally, here's a cool trick I learned from Rob Howard's gouache book. If you get stray or bent hairs on a synthetic brush, dip it in very hot water (just boiling) for a minute or 2, and the hairs will re-align. Works really well.

Ross Lynn Moore Sr. 2009, 10 x 8, gouache on illustration board.


  1. very nice portrait of your Dad, Im sure it stirs up some good memories. Great work

  2. Thanks for your comment, James. I really like that emotional connection when working on a piece. Definitely had that here.

  3. Candace, I stumbled my way here from Adebanji's (he and I exchanged portraits on Karin Jurick's DSFDF challenge) and am so very impressed with your work...absolutely excellent. I hopped on your follower wagon and will be looking forward to watching your progress. I invite you to drop by and visit my site some time.

  4. hi!! the portrait is really good!! i can feel the love it is made. i like very much your way of using black and white!! excuse my english, i think a lot of good things about your work but iam afraid i cannot tell in another language but mine.

  5. James, Thanks for your comments. I enjoyed visiting your blog. Love your "beetles" work.

    Benjaminlois, I am honored at your effort to comment in English. Please feel free to post in Spanish. It is our second language here in Southern California. Regards.