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Painting watercolor portraits layer by layer by Sandrine pelissier

Painting watercolor portraits layer by layer

This is a watercolor portrait I painted from a picture of my son. To have more control and be able to focus on edges and values , I did separate each color in primary colors, yellow, red and blue and painted each layer of primary separately.

This is my original drawing on newsprint paper. I worked from a picture, with the help of a grid.I don't make my drawing directly on the watercolor paper so I can erase as much as I want whitout risk of damaging the paper.

This is my original drawing on newsprint paper. I worked from a picture, with the help of a grid.I don’t make my drawing directly on the watercolor paper so I can erase as much as I want whitout risk of damaging the paper.

My drawing transfered to the watercolor paper.

My drawing transfered to the watercolor paper. Next week I will publish a post showing how to make your own light box, this time I used carbon paper.

This is the first layer, I used only a Cadmium yellow lemon. I focus on value and edges.

This is the first layer, I used only a Cadmium yellow lemon. I focus on value and edges.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Yarka St. Petersburg Professional Watercolor Pans

Same palette of traditional colors the great masters used a century ago. Liquid-poured means semi-moist pans respond instantly to a wet brush. 24 pans in plastic case. Also individual pans. – Master Set

 

For the second layer, again only one color, alizarin crimson.

For the second layer, again only one color, alizarin crimson. When using this technique, it is important to let the paper dry completely between layers so the colors don’t mix wet and become muddy.

In the third stage I use 2 different blues, a cold blue on the Tshirt (Prussian blue) and a warmer blue on the face (Ultramarine blue).

In the third stage I use 2 different blues, a cold blue on the T shirt (Prussian blue) and a warmer blue on the face (Ultramarine blue). When painting the blue and red layers you need a lot less paint than when painting with yellow.

 

In the last stage, I adjust colors where I need to do it, I add some oranges, browns and purple, I scrub and wash away some paint where I need more light on the face, or to soften some edges.

 

Painting watercolor portraits layer by layer
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