Free step by step watercolor demonstrtions, Free lessons from Yong Chen and Mary Churchill

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.

Don’t see the above video? Download the latest Flash Player for freeget Flash Player for free

Connect with Us on FaceBook, Youtube, Twitter and mySpace YouTube MySpace FaceBook Twitter