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10 useful Tips for Portrait Painting in Watercolor

  1. The left and right half of a face are not symmetrical, still a center line will help us a lot.
  2. A basic knowledge of human skull is useful. It is true that every face is different, but most of the time proportion is followed by and large.
  3. A portrait is supposed to be alike the person sitting in front of you. Do not mix an artist’s perception (like what you think of the person at your heart) and physical likeness of the character. Careful measurements and good observation should give you satisfactory results.
  4. Stick to limited techniques while painting a portrait. Wet into wet and/or wet on dry are the options. If you are a beginner wet on dry paint is for you.
  5. Don’t try to finish a portrait at a go. Yes, a few artists can do that also, but it is very difficult to achieve. In that case you must have an excellent observation power to understand the key features of the characters, extraordinary color sense and tremendous control over brushes. Spend a few more minutes with your painting.
  6. Start with a medium/smooth textured paper. You can add details very easily.
  7. Use HB pencil and draw in detail also give suggestion of the highlight and shadow, and retain the transparency of watercolor while painting.
  8. Over work is another big issue. Try to finish your painting within 2-4 steps. Otherwise you will find hard edges which are difficult to manage later.
  9. If you want to capture the environment also, start painting it along with portrait, else it might look that the portrait is just cut and pasted over the background.
  10. Dark complexion doesn’t mean a thick dark color to apply. If you use such colors, you will not only have a problem to handle highlight and shadow, but also it will look very shabby. My complexion is quite dark, and I do not want to see the same tone on a paper. If a white friend of mine stands by my side, in photograph you will not find me. Sometimes it becomes very sensitive issue. I also want to look good like my friends! A painting can resolve the problem.


One Comment
  1. kalapedia permalink

    Very appropriately said……Keep up the good work !!

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