A 20-minute watercolor portrait painting
Watercolor portrait painting demonstration
This is a Saturday, I was invited to the Nashua Public Library to do a demonstration. A friend of mine came from New York and would like to be my model for this portrait painting demonstration. She is very pretty and kind lady. First I started from drawing, a very loose drawing. There are two things that I would like to accomplish are, define the direction, the flow of the painting, second is the composition, as the design and layout of the painting. I also marked the areas for the eyes and other important parts in the painting. This is especially important when I don't have much time for a quick portrait painting.
I first started a wash from the face with a light-skin-tone color. A friend asked me if I always wet the paper before I started painting. I don't usually do that. I only wet the area that I need to. In this case, I wet the face (most of it) area with light-skin-tone color with much water, but left some small area untouched for the highlight.
When the face area was still wet, I added a bit darker color into the area of the shadow of the face at the right side. Then I painted into the area of the neck. The next thing was the hair. I first painted the hair with dry brush, then I used much water to continue. This would create a different look compared to dry or wet into wet.
I used a large flat brush and keep the mind on the overall balance and composition all the time during the painting process.
Then I worked into the background area with cool tone color, mostly with blue. I planned to have the background in cool while the face warm, to create the color contrast.
After settled the basic color and value, I returned to the face. I used a smaller round brush to paint into the eyes and form the volume of the nose, then the transition between the light and shadow.
I like to paint portrait from live model. I could feel the energy from my model when I paint. I do quick portrait paintings, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes 20 minutes or 30 minutes. Painting a portrait painting is not only pursuing the likeness, but more important, is the personality and essence of the person. Like to view the portrait painting? Click here.