Friday, March 13, 2009
Anatomy of a watercolour portrait
Edited 3.15.09: This is a daylight photo of the portrait which gives a truer representation of the colours at this stage of the piece.
I have been lucky enough to be able to provide Cath Sheard with a portrait of her mother, so I thought I would show the process of the creation of a watercolour portrait to date. I'll apologize up front for the quality of the images as they're taken under artificial light so are darker than they should.
I start out with a simple line drawing, mapping out major areas of values.
From there I put down a base of colour to the face and portions of the hair in shadow. These will be refined in detail later.
I start adding more layers to the shadows of the face and hair, introducing other colours as I go to add interest and give depth. I also start putting in some background colour, keeping it all fairly loose and letting the paint and water flow in a controlled sort of way. :)
I keep adding layers of colour, some of them put down on damp paper, but I usually let one layer dry before I start the next so not to muddy the tones. I keep refining shapes and detail til I get to the point where it lets me know I can't go further. I will then add additional detail with wc pencil to bring out areas that I want to highlight.
This is going into its final stage of development and I hope to finish this piece during the weekend then it can be set free on its way to New Zealand.