watercolor portrait painting tutorial

Multi-colored days, watercolor and mixed media painting tutorial

by Sandrine Pelissier on July 17, 2012

in New work, Painting technique, Step by step demonstrations

watercolor and mixed media painting tutorial

Multi colored days,
watercolor and mixed media on paper,



Click on image to purchase Original or Print

Click on image to purchase Original or Print

These days I am feeling like painting a few watercolor portraits again, so this one is from a picture of my oldest daughter, Louise.
I used watercolor, gouache, a bit of liquid acrylic, and watercolor crayons, on Arches paper hot press 140 lb. You can read the details with the step by step pictures below or you can watch the time lapse video to see

Watercolor and mixed media painting: Multi Colored Days

drawing before painting

Here is my drawing on the stretched paper with my reference picture.

step by step watercolor painting tutorial

I start with a layer of Da Vinci Yellow Ochre.

learn to paint watercolor by layering colors

When working with layers, I always try to paint the background at the same time so it is well integrated in the finished painting even though at that time I am not sure what will go exactly on the background.

watercolor painting step by step , red layer

Now working with 2 shades of red, one more orange and one more pink, looking at my reference picture to see which one should go where.

using watercolors to paint portraits

I also paint the background with a layer of red,and start to introduce some blue. I have my painting at a 30 degree angle that makes painting washes easier.

watercolor painting techniques, layering colors

Still adding more colors now, oranges and browns.

lifting up colors with a stiff brush when painting watercolor portraits

I lift up some paint in areas I want lighter with a stiff brush and lots of water.

adding mixed media to watercolors

I paint the background with a mix of gouache, liquid acrylic and watercolor.

splashing watercolors with water

I did accentuate some areas with watercolor crayons. Time for splashing, with water, and water mixed with watercolors. I remove unwanted stains with a tissue paper.

watercolor painting video

Multi colored days, watercolor and mixed media on paper

And now a time lapse movie showing the whole process in just a few minutes !!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

silvia October 19, 2013 at 2:34 am

wow… wish to see a demo in normal time…is it too much I’m afraid…in this way is wonderful…but frustrating..:)


Sandrine Pelissier October 19, 2013 at 4:28 am

Yes, I understand, but real time is a few days of work, that would be too long to watch :)


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