Portrait Painting with Acrylics or Watercolor

Painting people with acrylic or watercolor paint is easy, but does take patience and practice. Although every artist is different I generally use several thinned down layers of color to obtain the correct shadows and colors.

In essence I guess my technique could be classified as watercolor portraits

The first and in my opinion, the most important step is drawing the subjects features and head shape correctly. It does not matter how you master this, just get the features correct.

One method is to use a grid method in drawing. Place a grid over the photo then draw grid lines on the canvas and simply copy what you see onto the canvas square by square. You may even be talented enough to freehand the drawing.

I will let you in on a secret, but you have to keep it to yourself. If you have the photo on your computer, just enlarge it, reverse or mirror image it, then trace with tracing paper. Now just put the tracing paper on the canvas and reproduce the exact image without knowing a thing about drawing!

Now create a skin color and block in the entire skin area. Using white, yellow, reds, and burnt sienna creates most skin color. Obviously adjust the amounts of each color depending on the actual colors and tones.

The paint should be very thin like a watercolor. Use some of this color and add burnt sienna to paint in the outline of the eyes, nose and mouth. Make sure that you use a very fine, thin brush so that the lines will be thin.

Add some burnt sienna and crimson or other red to the skin color where you want the shadows to be. Study the photo or model and see where they are. Add more thin layers and blend them into the flesh color until the shadows are distinct.

Add details of the eyes, nostrils, lip color and eyebrows. Final details can be added by using pure white. Such details may be upon the eyelids, on the nose, upper lip or anyplace you want to look moist or where the light is catching it.

Painting people does take practice. Do not get disappointed if do-it-yourself portraits aren’t perfect. If you have a desire to paint people you will get it with enough practice.

beginner painting lessons

Award Winning Learn & Master Painting 3 Day SALE !!!
sive $100 OFF - Grab it Now Before It's Too Late! Click here...

pencil portrait mastery course

oil painting techniques