I think this is a very sensitive portrait Thea, I'm not syrprised its of a family member. When you know someone so well, I'm sure its difficult to get the likeness 'just right' but its a good sign that your husband recognised her straight away!

Its lovely, I do like your style of painting portraits. I am much too tight and would like to loosen up but the brush doesn't want to. Great painting

A beautiful portrait Thea, clean and fresh as your work always is.

It's super, as usual, Thea. It's such a sensitive portrayal, and I love your washes - fresh and clear. Everything a good watercolor should be!

Everthing works very well together, lovely lighting as always.

It's another lovely watercolour Thea and you can see the family likeness so I think it must be good.You should be pleased.

Posted by Joy Lee on Fri 30 Sep 15:29:34

Lovely portrait colours Thea,a beautiful painting.

Thank you all very much for the feedback and nice comments. It was strange really, but when I was painting Emma's face it felt exactly like painting Roger's - their features are so similar, but I hadn't realised before how much. I had to have three attempts to get a good likeness to Roger, so perhaps another couple of attempts will get me hopefully spot on with Emma.

Well you've done it again! You've captured that lovely freshness that all your portraits have, I am so impressed, hope Emma is too.

beautiful picture Thea, as always. I love the clarity and luminosity of your watercolours, they are fab. I know what you mean about doing faces when you say that you start to see other family members in your paintings as the features are similar, it happens to me all the time, its weird isn't it but I guess it must prove that we are going in the right direction because family members resemble each other in life all the time don't they! I haven't had the balls to try a watercolour portrait just yet - still on my graphite and paper ha ha - having the weekly watercolour lessons but doing landscapes although it all helps in learning the techniques doesn't it. Any good tips you've got for me, Thea - I'm all ears!!! Love the picture Thea x

Thea - your watercolour portraits just go from strength to strength - this is superb.

Congratulations and well done again Thea

Thank you very much Kay, Debs, Michael and Larry for your generous comments. I am always a bit taken aback when anyone likes my paintings, so you all make my day when you seem to like what you see. Kay, I wouldn't presume to give anyone tips - I am really such a beginner at all this watercolour lark. There are people out there who have been painting all their life and I have only done it for just under four years. I would love to be like those artists who demonstrate painting and who seem to know exactly what they are going to do and how it is going to turn out. I seem to sit down to paint and it is often like it the first time I have ever done it. I have no idea where to start or what to do half the time. I am busy messing up a still life at the moment - it is all very hit and miss with me - sort of fly by the seat of your pants gal! If I gave any advice it would be to just go with instinct - often I find it is wrong, but you do get those wonderful moments when your instinct is spot on and the painting just works. Your drawing are superb and you should have no trouble translating them into watercolour.

Another excellent portrait Thea, great and distinctive style

Well! I don't obviously know how accurate it is, but it's a lovely and fresh, vibrant watercolour - and I can only hope it looks like its subject.... Painting our nearest and dearest is SO hard: we think we know what they look like, paint what we think, and so often fail to really LOOK ... only you can know how accurate it is... But it's still a fabulous painting, of which you should be proud; I very much identify with the points you make above - I really don't think that most of us know how a painting is going to turn out before we start: and I suspect that those who put such demonstrations on video have painted the same scene time and time again, know exactly and precisely what they're doing - and produce highly predictable work in consequence. Well, we could all do that .... but it would bore me to death: what a waste of paint! I'd much rather watch you painting than a professional demonstrator - because you take risks, and try new things: and that's what painting ought to be about - venturing into the unknown rather than re-hashing tried, tested, and thoroughly dull techniques.

Thank you very much for your kind and interesting comments, Petra and Robert. Robert, as I did admit, the likeness is not as spot on as I would have liked and I am not really sure why it isn't as I can't find the problem. However, mostly in my portraits I am searching for the expression on the face that defines the person and I think I have done a better job of that. Emma is a wonderful lass, very confident, but hugely self-effacing, modest and can be shy (unlike her mother lol!). She tends to be very self-conscious in photos so that expression was there in my reference for me to try and capture. However, I know what you mean about artists painting and re-painting demo pieces so many times that they could do them in their sleep. I do just wish though that I knew what I was doing a bit more than I seem to. I generally lurch from one drama to another when painting - bad decisions and mistakes so easily made and so hard to correct. Give me another 20 years and I might master the art (if the good Lord spares me).

It's interesting that you feel that your paintings are rather hit and miss as when I look at your work I feel that you paint with confidence and give much thought to where exactly you're going to place those brush strokes. You have already mastered the technique and should have more confidence in your skills! This is a lovely watercolour portrait of Emma.

Heh - we could all do with another 20 years: trouble is, I'll be gone 80 by then.... I don't know what the secret is to capturing real likenesses, Thea; if I did, I'd pass it on gladly. I've been trying to draw my late grandfather, but .... I just can't! I have a few black and white photographs of him, I can SEE him, in my mind's eye: but I've never yet been able to capture him - I get near, and then lose it. I just can't recapture the twinkle he had, the mischievous glint in the eye and twist in the mouth. And I really, really wish I could: it's actually quite distressing.... I can just see him chuckling at me, as I fail, yet again! Is it that the closer we are to people, the less we're able to capture them? Or just that, without sufficient information, one can't actually capture anyone however dear they were to us..... I have a feeling it's the latter, actually: what do you think? Or anyone else think? I can see in my mind's eye every gesture my grandfather made, the way he sucked in his lower lip when he didn't really want to give his feelings away - and CAN I draw him? Er, well, no. I'd love to be able to capture him - but he's always elusive! And - perhaps he really always was.....

Thank you very much, Louise for your lovely comments. I wish I did know what I was doing but I have to confess that it is all very shaky. Gosh - a lot to think about Robert. I think when doing a portrait is it important to keep going. I find that it is only at the end that the likeness emerges (if it is going to!). I have to work through that dodgy time when it all looks as if it is going to be so far from the mark. It can even been a last brush stroke that makes the person I know emerge from the page - I call this the 'golden moment' and it is elusive. I have had trouble with Roger's face as well as Emma's and my grandson Oscar as they are have the same quite soft features with no hard planes to their faces. I find these faces much harder to do. Sometimes, depending on your style, I don't think it is necessary to get a complete likeness as long as you capture the essence of the person, which is why I only paint people I know well. I wouldn't have much of a clue about the essence of a face that I had no connection with. Perhaps,try your grandfather again and just keep the faith and keep going - you may well discover that 'golden moment' and crack it.

super portrait gallery thea ...i esp like this portrait of you daughter thea ...see you are working hard with portraits sounds like you are enjoying it ..i'm too getting to grips with portraits..thanks for your comment,

I think this is a beautiful portrait, despite what you say about having difficulty painting adults. I disagree with you. Your paintings of adults are very successful. I particularly like this one, which is so fresh and I like the loose style you use.

Posted by May Chee on Wed 14 Mar 19:54:38
Hang on Studio Wall

I am still trying to get to grips with painting adult faces and this is my latest attempt. It is of my elder daughter, Emma. I have to be totally honest and say that the likeness is almost there, but not quite in my opinion. My husband knew immediately who it was so may not be that bad! However, I also wanted to capture the slightly shy and self-conscious expression that she often has and I feel I have gone some way towards doing that, but will leave others to judge. Watercolour on Langton NOT.

About the Artist
Thea Cable

I am a watercolourist first and foremost as I love the qualities of the medium, its riskiness and unpredictability. I started painting about 8 years ago and it has now become an integral part of my life. Hopefully, I will continue to paint into my dotage as I am given to understand that you can…

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