Watercolor portrait painting tutorial with layering technique, watercolor crayons and wax paper cut-out
From now on, you can call me Neil Armstrong
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This is a portrait of my youngest daughter I painted some time ago. My daughter has a fascination for space exploration and wants to learn as much as she can about that subject, of course she wants to be a cosmonaut!
I like to paint portraits that are telling a story, they are like illustrations of a book that the viewer has to make up. I also wanted that painting to talk about the magic of youth and the feeling that you have so many options possible for your future.
Here are the steps I took to paint this portrait:
This is my drawing on Arches paper, I did preserve some whites with resist mainly for the eyes and patterns in the background
I applied resist on the white of the eyes and for the highlight on the eye, as well as along the face where the light makes the skin appear white.
I am starting by painting a layer with yellow watercolor ( yellow Ocher and Lemon yellow)
I am cutting out a few shapes in wax paper and will place them on the yellow watercolor layer in the background while the paint is still wet.
Here is a close-up of the background with resist and cut-out wax paper shapes. I want the background to be somewhat between a wall paper and a representation of my daughters thoughts.
Once the yellow layer has dried I paint a layer with different tones of red, aiming for variations that go from orange to more pink tones of red,
The last layer is a layer of blue, I am also using different tones of blue, from Ultramarine blue to Prussian blue. I accentuate the blue highlight on the hair, I then work on the background adding more definition to the patterns with watercolor crayons. You can see faint patterns where the wax paper cut-out were placed.
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