#365 Day 102 Ethan three times

Or as engineers say, “3 off”

Ethan was at home last night. He had a University project to complete and was sitting on his bed concentrating on his laptop. He said it was OK if I painted him as he worked – So here is Ethan concentrating on his work. It was quite a special time for me.


Here is the first.  I ran out of runway on the left there a little but still.



and here is the second one


And my final – after dinner version.  He was lying back and had a lovely shadow across his forehead.


Ethan #3

Ethan #3



10 thoughts on “#365 Day 102 Ethan three times

  1. I bet it’s nice to have him home. I like the light in the second piece the best. They’re all good. I really enjoy drawing portraits but painting them seems beyond my pay grade, particularly in watercolor! Beautiful work you’re doing, Stephen.

    • Thanks Laura – Well I have Charles Reid’s first book on portraits and he has improved a LOT since then (to put it euphemistically) so I just thought I would give it a go. He has quite a structured approach to portraits which I found helps a lot. one of the old ladies in the local watercolour society went on one of his art courses somewhere Mediterranean and came back with some great work and technique. I think he must be a great teacher.

      • Yes I found his book “The Natural Way to Paint” inspiring. Though it was not until I stopped just looking at his work and started reading the lessons that I started learning. Then his portraits video was also very useful for me. He also wrote “watercolor solutions” which I read and re-read

      • Thanks, Stephen. I may have a go at watercolor in June and will need to revisit all of that. He has helped me more in watercolor than any other videos I’ve seen, and I’ve seen probably hundreds if not thousands in a year and a half. I was so obsessed with watercolor at the beginning and it frustrated the ever living heck outta me. It teaches you a lot about patience and control (or lack thereof), all valuable lessons. Thanks for the references, much appreciated.

      • Ulitmately I think it is about doing lots of watercolours – eventually someone with enough courage may say “look you are making an awful mess of this – try it this way…” Yes I find it frustrating as well. I sometimes think my paintings get worse the more I work at it. But I think that is something to do with the learning process itself (maybe they do get worse). After my initial lessons I did lots of work on my own. And I asked artists and galleries for input – most of which I ignored till it was obvious they were right. I am really bad at taking advice – especially when I have asked for it.
        Have a great week

      • Thanks, Stephen, and you as well. Oh, this is what I hope for – that someone will see something I’m doing that’s obviously wrong and just tell me it’s wrong! I think I would give them a hug if they told me. You know when you walk around with a little pebble in your shoe? That’s how I feel, often, in wc, and I just don’t know how to get that darned thing out! Oh, so frustrating. I think learning in art is certainly not linear, more like a stair step, two steps up and one back or thereabouts, but I really love what you’re doing, and I wouldn’t say that just to say it. I am dying to try painting my white calico kitty (she passed close to a year ago now) maybe trying to imitate you a bit and see how it goes. Your animals really grab me every time. And I’m really drawn to them and to faces and eyes. Working on a face challenge this year, but I’ve been doing those mostly in some type of pointy media hehe. WC pencil would work I guess, and we could still call it a painting, but I’m on this painting thing for the moment. I think you’re right: the key is to do lots and lots of them. The only way to find out if it’ll fly! Thanks for your wise words, as always.

      • Ha! I feel your frustration – let it drive you.
        Faces are a great topic. My brother – the master artists – told me to stop painting from pictures and work from life. First he said I should to lots of drawings of still life, bottles and found objects to help my eye see the shapes and relationships – This is what I have in mind when I draw lamps and boots.
        I find doing portraits from life are much more difficult because of unconscious interaction – but also more precious somehow.
        I look forward to seeing how you go…

      • Let it drive you is right. Thanks. I’ve drawn my husband from life many times, mostly from the side while we’re watching the baseball game on tv. I should do more life work, thanks for the nudge.

      • Excellent – well there you see. I sometimes sit and draw my family with my back to the TV – at least they sit still – I also draw people in church – for the same reason. We just gotta do it …

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