Painting Rearview Mirror

rearview mirror - 2017 - full
Eduardo Suré; Rearview Mirror, 2017; Watercolor

In this painting, the observer is the driver of a truck looking into a rearview mirror. There are three images: the ground and the top and bottom views of a Class A mirror.

If I painted something like this again, I would make some changes. I would blur the ground to add depth. I would add a high horizon line as I did in the sketch. I would make the bottom mirror convex. I would also use a color pallet that matches the mood of the story.


Sketching Rearview Mirror

sketch of rearview mirror - 2017 - 3x2
Eduardo Suré; Sketch of a Rearview Mirror, 2017; Graphite

In this preliminary sketch for a painting, I wanted to study how to have three perspectives in one image. I will only transfer the contour lines to watercolor paper.

The sketch illustrates a driver looking in a rearview mirror at an approaching vehicle. I want the vehicle in the painting to appear ominous.

Painting Caliginous

caliginous - 2017 - original
Eduardo Suré; Caliginous, 2017; Watercolor

This painting is very simple, but I actually tried to do a few things with it. I would judge its success based on the answers to the following questions.

  • Is the outstretched hand the first thing to catch the observer’s attention?
  • Does the observer feel like he or she is asked for something?
  • Does the observer’s gaze move from the outstretched hand to the void where the face should be?
  • Is the void where the face should be disturbing to the observer?
  • Do the complimentary colors contribute to whatever excitement the observer may feel?
  • Does the perspective help the observer feel like he or she is a part of the scene?

I always want to draw and paint something that looks good, but I’ve started focusing more on the reaction I want the viewer to have.

Sketching Caliginous

caliginous - 2017 - 3x2
Eduardo Suré; Sketch of Caliginous, 2017; Graphite

The image above was my third attempt to illustrate my next short story. I didn’t use my first sketch because a van I drew in the scene looked too wide. I didn’t use the second sketch because the foreshortening of the hand was incorrect. I think the hand in this third sketch works.

Painting Brian

Brian Throwing Rock - 2017 - 8x10
Eduardo Suré; Brian Throwing Rock, 2017; Watercolor

I painted Brian to illustrate Finding the Gray Living Jewel. I wanted to convey his pleasure about his newfound strength, but I don’t think I succeeded. His face is too serious. I don’t even remember how I messed up his right eye.

I was excited about creating this illustration. I thought I was going to enjoy drawing a muscular guy throwing a rock. I was going to make the action dramatic. Instead, I struggled through some sketches, got a little frustrated, and settled for this.

I think I was in too much of a hurry. I will try to slow down in the future. Perhaps taking a break from a project if I’m struggling will help me reset.

Thank you for stopping by. If you are interested in reading the Living Jewel Series, the hyperlink will take you to my short stories. You can also find the link to the Living Jewel Series under Categories.

Sketching Brian

Sketch of Brian Throwing Rock - 2017 - 3x2
Eduardo Suré; Sketch of Brian Throwing Rock, 2017; Graphite

I sketched Brian for my next short story, Finding the Gray Living Jewel. He is a steelworker in his 20s and is standing in front of a pile of rocks. He is easily lifting a heavy stone above his head. His expression should convey surprise at how easily he can carry the stone, and his muscles should appear unusually large.

Thank you for stopping by. If you are interested in reading the Living Jewel Series, the hyperlink will take you to my short stories. You can also find the link to the Living Jewel Series under Categories.

Failing to Win: My Second Short Story Competition 

mary at meeting - 2017 - 16x9 vanilla
Eduardo Suré; Mary at Meeting, 2017; Watercolor with Vanilla Filter

In July 2017, I submitted Mary’s Ten O’Clock as my entry for a second short story contest this year: the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Competition. I was not placed on the short list.

I can’t say I was surprised. I thought the story was funny, but not one that would win a competition. My family really liked it and suggested I enter, so I deferred to their opinion.

It was fun to enter, hope, and experience real life suspense. I plan to submit short stories to a few contests every year.

Painting Amanda

amanda and smell - 2017 - 8x10
Eduardo Suré; Amanda and Smell, 2017; Watercolor

This is the full painting of Amanda and Smell. I cropped the illustration for my short story, Finding the Purple Living Jewel. I took some notes after painting Amanda.

  • Color sketches save time and frustration. If I hadn’t done them, I would have used some wild colors.
  • Start with fresh paint when creating color. I tried to darken the paint I used for Kevin’s skin color and the paint turned gray. 
  • Wet-on-wet is great for shadows.
  • Until I understand where shadows fall, use a model.
  • Use very light pencil for the structural drawing. Even though I drew lightly, I still had trouble erasing the pencil marks.
  • Be patient and wait until the painting dries before erasing pencil marks. I ruined Amanda’s lips by erasing too soon.

The combination of painting a person looking up and conveying the act of smelling challenged me. I did not think it was going to work. In the end, I was satisfied by the result.

Thank you for stopping by. If you are interested in reading the Living Jewel Series, the hyperlink will take you to my published short stories. You can also find the link to the Living Jewel Series under Categories.

Sketch of Amanda and Smell

Eduardo Suré; Sketch of Amanda and Smell, 2017; Graphite
I sketched Amanda for a painting to illustrate my next short story, Finding the Purple Living Jewel. To find the right proportions for a face looking up, I found a model of a woman online. For her eyes, nose, and mouth; I tried to use the model’s dimensions. However, my sketch did not look right to me. So, I moved her features.

The first time I finished adding all of her features, there was something about her that did not seem right. So, I held her up to a mirror and was able to notice her face was very asymmetrical. I went back and matched the pairs of features the best I could.

My last challenge was to show her smelling something. I don’t know what smells look like. I imagined smells looking something like smoke and drew them accordingly.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you’ll visit again to read the story and see the painting.

Lessons Learned: Painting Kevin in Trouble

kevin - 2017 - 10x8
Eduardo Suré; Kevin in Trouble, 2017; Watercolor

I wanted to capture some notes about painting Kevin in Trouble. I hope reflecting on the project will help me become a better painter.

First, I used a sketch to create a structural drawing for the painting. I blogged about the sketch for this project in, Sketch of Kevin. I adjusted the position of the collar and the width of the left arm. I felt the figure was improved, but I’m still stretching my ability to draw in perspective. I need to remember to use lighter pencil marks because I’m finding it harder to erase them at the end when the painting is dry.

Second, I selected colors and painted flat areas. I tried this approach last week and liked the control it gave me. It allowed me to focus on having a good foundation to build upon. I chose warm colors to evoke a feeling of distress. I showed the colors to my wife, and she told me they reminded her of fall and were comforting. I should do thumbnail color sketches next time to find the right combination of colors.

After the watercolors dried, I added form. I moved the source of the light to the other side of the room. That wasn’t my original plan. My reason for moving it was that the best model I could find had the light coming from that side. It wasn’t the bravest move, but I’m not comfortable imagining lighting yet.

All in all, I was satisfied with the painting.