100 Portraits Challenge

Started March 10th, 2020

Nudged and encouraged by my #1 fan, my daughter @jcrochetchronicles to do a #100artproject so I decided to do 100 portraits using gouache as a good way to practice and develop my style with this genre and medium.  I'm a HUGE fan of Portrait Artist of the Year and love watching the fab portraits being created there! 
5/100
5/100
4/100
4/100
3/100
3/100
2/100
2/100
1/100
1/100
Portrait # 1/100 is of my mum using a reference photo taken of her in the 70s. I love this photo of her and miss her more and more.... I don’t think I did her justice but I know she would love it and I will come back to it and likely redo it once I’ve had lots of practice and get more confident.
gouache on paper| 20 x 20 cms
Portrait # 2/100 is from a photo of beautiful Linda Rodin of @lindaandwinks that I found on Pinterest via an article written about her in the Independent.co.uk and whom I very much admire. 
gouache on paper|15 x 20 cms 
Portrait #3/100 is from a photo I took of an animal rights activist at the Athens Pride parade of 2017.
gouache on paper|15x20 cms 
Portrait #4/100 is also referenced off one of my own photos taken at the Athens Pride parade in 2017. I love her striking colours and posture! I loved painting her and would have loved more time and space on a larger canvas but I’m keeping these small to finish in a day as it’s an exercise in developing and improving my art. And I can already see what an excellent exercise this is. Everyday I feel something moves, improves, comes easier. A new challenge every day but a challenge overcome 😊 I’m also discovering the value in my love of photography and using it as a great reference for paintings. I have loads of photos to use and going out on photo expeditions will have a new meaning and purpose! 🤗 
Portrait #5/100 is again referenced off one of my own photos of a very dear and close friend of mine. I took this when we were setting off on a summer holiday together a few years ago. One of my best holidays ever, so it holds special meaning for me. 
I’m still struggling with hands a bit so I leave them out until more proficient unless I’m happy with the effort. 
I did something a little different today, towards the end I put my reference photo aside and finished it to my liking rather than try to get the same result as in the photo. I could’ve strayed more but I think the fact that it’s of a personal friend had me afraid of making a mess of it and disappointing. 
gouache on paper| 20 x 15 cms 
reference photos
Taken @ Athens Pride Parade 2017
Taken @ Athens Pride Parade 2017
Animal Rights Activist @ Athens Pride Parade 2017
Animal Rights Activist @ Athens Pride Parade 2017
Linda Rodin
Linda Rodin
Mum
Mum

Portrait #6/100 was a toughie!!! A self-portrait (or at least an attempt of one 😂) referenced off a selfie that (as I discovered while working) was actually pretty poor quality to paint from and gave me no end of trouble. The  couple of days I spent over this have been very frustrating, I let it go after three attempts on the first day that ended up in the rubbish. Turns out painting yourself is a lot harder than painting others. It’s astonishing how little aware of ourselves we are. The brain wants to paint what it thinks you are rather than what you’re seeing, and when it’s a poor photo that effort is quadrupled. So after the frustration wore off I sat down in the evening and much more relaxed, and without any agenda I did a sketch which to my surprise turned out ok. So the next day I scanned it and opened it with photoshop to experiment with colours on my computer before going real on it and possibly messing it up again -which I did!!!! To salvage it I used sennelier soft pastels (also a new medium for me) and at least I can add it to my challenge 🥴 

6/100
6/100
sketch
sketch
digital brushes/photoshop
digital brushes/photoshop
yours truly
yours truly
*Note to self: I need to set myself a time limit in which to do these so I focus on essential elements.
Glad I scanned my sketch and will likely print out on canvas and try again maybe with oils.
Slide 1: is the final painting using gouache and softpastels on paper 28x20 cms
Slide 2: pencil sketch
Slide 3: experimenting on photoshop with digital brushes 
Slide 4: my reference photo
7/100
7/100
8/100
8/100
9/100
9/100
10/100
10/100
11/100
11/100
12/100
12/100
13/100
13/100
Portrait #7/100 is of Sharon Tate photographed by Alan Pappe in 1968 at her home on Summitridge drive in the Holmby Hills of Los Angeles, California 
Much less stressful than the self portrait in my previous post! I also set myself a time limit to focus on the essentials and to reduce my tendency to add too much detail. 
I this time I also managed to create a short timelapse video!
Portrait #8/100 portraits is of Maria Callas. 🤍 🇬🇷 
I will admit to spending a little longer than planned on her but I enjoyed creating her portrait so much! I think I will come back to her for a larger portrait when I complete this challenge. I still have a lot to learn but am enjoying it immensely! I also created a short time-lapse video of her here below that you might like to watch.
Portrait #9/100  is my dear wildlife photographer brother George Blonsky !! I took this photo when I went with him to Lake Kerkini where he holds wildlife photography workshops. An unforgettable trip for me and one I hope to do again with him one day. Check out his photography, I am super proud of him and love him to the moon and back! 
A Timelapse is available for you to watch below.
gouache on paper| 20 x 28 cms 
Portrait 10/100 is of my beautiful sister Vicky. I went bolder and looser in style and feel very happy with this development ☺️ it’s beginning to feel more like my style. I struggled with the mouth a bit again, finding and losing her a few times as you will see in the time-lapse video below. It’s amazing how one tiny brushstroke can make so much difference. Constant observation, looking, measuring and comparing all the time make all the difference. My reference photo is my own. Apologies for camera going out of focus for a bit there in the middle! I think I had my aperture setting too wide and so focus was off. I corrected it later and will watch for that in future videos, but at least you do get the effect of the time-lapse.
Portrait 11/100 Audrey Hepburn could not be absent from my 100 Portraits Challenge! So for this one I chose a photo by Douglas Kirkland of Audrey Hepburn dressed in Givenchy with sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith (1966) as my reference.
Portrait 12/100 in this challenge (that I’m beginning to regret 😝) is a self-portrait of when a mere 20 years of age and enjoying life working on cruise ships! This is one of my favorite photos of me snapped by our ship’s photographer when he spotted me framed in the deck door window on a break from work. 
Relieved to finally get this done after a couple of days of pure torture and feeling like I suddenly couldn’t draw let alone paint! 
Portrait 13/100 is one of my very dear and beautiful friend Irena.
Reference photo is also one of my own when Irena kindly offered to sit as my model a few years ago. 
Gouache on paper 20x28 cms 
Reference Photos
Sharon Tate
Sharon Tate
Maria Callas
Maria Callas
My Brother, George
My Brother, George
My Sister, Vicky
My Sister, Vicky
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Me @20
Me @20
Irena
Irena
videos

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