Typical Watercolor Portrait

The steps in this typical watercolor portrait commission for the Franks, starts with sketching from a portrait supplied for reference, then applying mastik or resist to reserve needed white areas on the watercolor paper.

portrait sketch with mastik
sketch with mastik

On this image you can see the main areas of the portrait laid out with pencil lightly which I plan on erasing when done. Look for areas of yellow and that is where I am reserving white areas. When I use this mastik it makes it a lot easier to use loose strokes of full color as I paint and therefore making the process of painting a lot more enjoyable.

background painting
background painting

Now, you can see as I begin background watercolor washes around the outline of the man. I love the way that watercolor will bleed into different areas of wet paper where you have other colors. It seems almost magical to me.

The portrait is finally getting to where I can work on the characters skin tones. That begins with a watercolor wash in the skin tones area starting with yellows and adding reds as a base, then blues for shadow.

At the same time I want to start with the shadows on his shirt. The highlights and shadows start to show the shapes in the t-shirt. Isn’t it great to start to see the 3D effect happening? I like to see things begin to bend and become round in front of my eyes by simply using colors.FRANKSson1_04

Franks son 1 background
Franks son 1 background

Time to turn in for the night.