Watercolors can be really tricky; and trying to paint portraits using watercolors can be a nightmare! The key, for me, is to keep it loose and whimsical, and today I’m going to show you just how to paint a loose watercolor portrait.
Loose watercolor portrait demo
This video will show you how to paint a loose watercolor portrait from start to finish. You’ll find some watercolor portrait tips and a supply list below the video.
Tips for painting loose watercolor portraits
Unlike acrylics, where I use multiple layers to create depth in the faces that I paint, I like to keep things very simple with watercolors while still creating dimension.
One of the keys is to not try and fill everything in with color. This allows the viewer to fill in the details while still creating a loose, expressive watercolor portrait.
The other tip, especially when you’re starting out, is to use watercolor pencils. These give you a lot more control over watercolors and can really make it easy for you to understand the medium, so you can figure out how to make traditional watercolors work for you down the line.
And the third, mix your mediums! Use graphite pencils or ink to add in details and some darker areas of shading to really make your watercolor portrait stand out.
Watercolor portraits: supply list*
Derwent Watercolor pencils – Terracotta, Burnt Umber, Red
Camel Artist’s watercolors – Prussian Blue Hue, Cobalt Blue Hue
Pentel watercolor tubes – Violet
Ink pen + black writing ink
I hope you found this helpful! Do let me know if you have any questions. And if there’s a specific technique or topic you’d like to see in future videos, do let me know in the comments!
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* Note: These are affiliate links, which means that I will make a small commission on your purchase at no extra cost to you.