quick explantion to the initial stages of the watercolor portrait




Ok  this is where you will have to use your imagination….

The three photos above represent the three stages I will take this portrait. The lightest one at the bottom is the first wash, usually I have all the features drawn in but for this example I have basically painted the head as an egg shape and have just painted each of the stages as a wash painted over the egg to show the progression from lightest value to mid value washes.  No detail is done at any of these stages.  This just gives body or form to the face.   I didn’t do it here but usually you will soften all of these edges unless the sun is very intense and directly over head, then you may leave the shadows hard edged.  The hair: one side is in light one side is in shadow,  ( do not divide in 1/2, always do uneven percentages to avoid monotony) the shadow side is painted cool, the  side in sunlight is warmer.  in the last example I put in some of the intense color to show the maximum color to be used.   This is done wet into wet but as an artist your style will dictate this. If you like tight paintings you will dry brush it.  If you like a loose interpretive feel, you will paint it wet into wet.

At any stage….While wet, you have the option to pull out some of the color and go back to almost white.  Don’t forget this, because once it has dried, you do not want to be scrubbing paint out on any child’s portrait.  This will cause it to lose its freshness.


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