Portrait (2) using three colours

Here is another portrait where I have used three colours.  Winsor & Newton – Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, and Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolours – Raw Umber Violet.

Once again I am using a photograph of Peter Deunov as my jumping off point.   

Even though the subject’s eyes are closed….I still begin my sketch with the eyes.

ImageNote that all the white in the image is dry, white paper, and again I am using the technique of wet brush no paint….which means that after applying paint to the shadow areas, I then pull the colour out using a clean wet brush. 

ImageObservation is of course key, however, I tend to see the world as a jigsaw puzzle….a kaleidoscope of shadow, light, and colour.  

In her book, Drawing on the Artist Within, Better Edwards, suggested an excellent exercise for those who believe that they can never draw or paint  a face.

Take a portrait – it can be a photograph or painting, and turn it upside down.     Remove the logic of what it is, and just copy the shapes you see.     You will be surprised.

ImageFollow the map of the face. 

ImageWhen tutoring portrait painting workshops, over the years I have seen people get hung up on a nose, regardless of the medium used. They tend to keep adjusting it, adding more colour, and ultimately ending up with a mess….when often all that’s needed is a shadow next to the nose……which points out the importance of always being aware of the whole subject,  not just one portion.   Remember everything is interconnected. 


I am leaving white paper for the beard and hair allowing the viewer fill the gaps in.    Note how the yellow ochre wash to the left of the face, reveals  the highlight on the eyelid, nose and beard. 


Final image.



A Bientôt

5 thoughts on “Portrait (2) using three colours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.