Avast Ye! 4 Pirate Work Value Their Weight in Gold

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Ahoy, matey! In celebration of Worldwide Speak Like a Pirate Day—acknowledged yearly on September 19—we’ve pillaged our archives and unearthed gleaming treasures painted by acrylic artist Karen Yee. Yee handed away in 2016, sadly, after an extended sickness, however we’re happy to have a good time her wonderful work and contribution to the artwork world with this number of figural work. These portraits, that includes would-be plunderers wearing pirate regalia, have been amongst her favourite material.

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Most of the portrait posers Yee created belonged to a tight-knit group of people that frequented Renaissance and pirate festivals across the nation, usually touring in full costume and brandishing impressively crafted backstories and personas. Yee most well-liked to color topics who wore masks, costumes or make-up, largely, as a result of she believed that the accoutrements freed the wearers, which allowed their true personalities to shine.

“I feel the extra you cowl up, the extra you’re feeling you might be your self. Whenever you’re in costume, you’re free. You are able to do no matter you need. I feel that exhibits by.”

Karen Yee

Demo: On the Advantage of Captain Unhealthy Jack

Step 1


Yee sketched the composition onto the canvas utilizing a light-weight pencil first, adopted by largely darkish brown paint. After the preliminary sketch, and portray within the background to a workable level, she labored on the focal factors—the face of the pirate and the parrot—from again to entrance and prime to backside. Working from again to entrance offers a way of depth to the portray, whereas portray from prime to backside helps cowl any drips that will happen.

Step 2


Extra work on the pirate’s face adopted. Paint colours Yee usually used for faces included a flesh tone, darker browns, ivory or parchment whites, greens and even purples. Relying on the dimensions of the face, she blocked in shade with a bigger brush first, however all the time ended with the element brush in hand—normally a dimension No. 0 or so. “The face isn’t all the time probably the most time-consuming half, however to me it’s probably the most important,” she stated. “.If I can get the face proper, then I do know the remainder of the portray will likely be all proper.”

Step 3


As a result of the hat is situated behind the parrot, Yee painted it subsequent to extend the sense of depth. “I usually return and rework or retouch issues I feel are completed,” she stated, “as I work my method by the portray and see how one object interacts with one other—and the way the composition appears as a complete.”

Step 4


Yee blocked in some colours to get a way of the general composition. “I do work from images,” she famous, “however generally I modify the colours as I see match. This occurs extra usually with the background, to make it extra dramatic. Continuously I paint the background a shade, begin engaged on the topic, after which change my thoughts and rework the entire background with a completely completely different shade. The acrylic paint I take advantage of may be very skinny, so I do many layers, a minimum of three or 4, generally extra.”

Step 5


Yee targeted on the parrot after which went over the coat once more. She approached portray the parrot as she would something she painted, breaking the topic down objectively, figuring out what shade she really noticed, and what shade is subsequent to that shade, and put all of it collectively like a puzzle.

On the Profit for Captain Unhealthy Jack (acrylic on canvas, 20×16)


Yee detailed the coat and refined different areas, as wanted.

This materials initially appeared within the Fall 2016 difficulty of Acrylic Artist and was written by Brett Ortler.