How To Paint A Portrait of A Child | Watercolor + Colored Pencils on Toned Tan Paper


Hi, Everyone! Marose here. I wanted to thank everybody who gave me some
very heartwarming positive feedback for this Portrait of A Girl that I painted a couple
of weeks ago. I posted it on my social media accounts and
it was very well received. So I wanted to share the process for that
piece with you. I was so happy that it was a successful painting
because I had not done a portrait in color of a human in such a long time let alone one
done in watercolor, and on toned tan paper. So the first thing I did after sketching the
face of the girl was to, wet the paper. And as usual this part and then consequently
adding the first color wash gave me a lot of anxiety because I wasn’t sure if I was
going to be able to control things in the way that I wanted. But overcoming that fear I went in and began to
drop to paint onto the wet paper following my reference photo as a guide for which colors
needed to go where. And I should also mention that my reference
photo was taken from user Blackstar video on Pixabay, I will leave a link in the video
description so you can check out the rest of their amazing photographs. So as I’m laying down my color wash, I wanted
to be careful not to obliterate the underlying tan tone of the paper because the point of
using toned paper, I think, especially when you’re doing a portrait, is that you should
be able to allow the paper color to show through underneath the paint and be part of the natural
skin tone of the subject. And then another reason why you would use
toned paper is so that your white highlights will be more vivid, and you’ll
see that later when I start to apply details to this piece. So even though the paper is wet I am not actually
adding color to all areas, or I will keep my colors very transparent. And then another important thing to remember
when doing human portraits is that skin isn’t just one color when you are recreating it
in your paintings or drawings. Even though a person’s skin tone is brown
as in the case of this subject, their skin will reflect colors from the sky, or from
their clothing, or sunlight will affect the color appearance of the skin as well. And underneath the skin you have blood vessels
that might show through, and depending on how prominent they are they also color the
skin differently in some places. And at this point, I’m just about to finish
with the first color wash, and I’m just adding a bit more color here and there and
making sure there aren’t too many hard paint edges where I don’t want them on the face
so I add some more water just so I can blend the colors into one another, and then you’ll
see me drying things out with a hair dryer in a bit. And what I find pretty tricky when painting
human portraits is that it’s actually very easy to make a mistake because you have to make
sure there aren’t breaks in the contour of the face where there shouldn’t be, and
you don’t want to suggest shadows and highlights where they shouldn’t be, especially when
you’re drawing a particular persons likeness. Because changes in the contour will cause
your portrait to look like someone else entirely. Whereas when your painting a pet portrait,
like I’ve been doing in the past months, you can pretty much get away with a few alterations
in the contours because of the coat which isn’t always just one smooth unbroken surface
like human skin would be So the next step is to go in with colored
pencils and at this stage I begin with lightly outlining the shape of the face, the eyes,
nose and the mouth, and that’s pretty much what I’ll focus on for detail. The hair and the neck area I will just lightly
hint at with some colors and shadows but nothing too defined. So with the reference as a guide, I find where
the color variations are on the skin. Like I said there will be areas that appear
a different color than the actual skin tone because of the ambient light bouncing off
of the ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​skin. So a good photograph is very helpful to help
you spot those color details. And for coloring in these details, what I’m
using is a mixture of Classic and Polychromos Colored Pencils by Faber Castell, which if
you’re in the Philippines you can buy at National Bookstore. So it’s good to just work your colors in
lightly at first. Don’t dig in with your colored pencils,
just build up the layers a little at a time, coz even though these are colored pencils
and they can be erased to some extent, some of the color will already be deposited deep
in the tooth of the paper especially when you start blending. So in case of mistakes, erasing pencil marks
won’t be easy so best to just proceed carefully and avoid making mistakes in the first place. And here’s an example of how I add the reflection
of the ambient sky color on the skin. And I really love how that subtle hint of
blue just adds dimension to the face. And aside from the blue color, you will also
notice I am adding touches of yellow and orange for a kind of sunkissed glow. Of course, being familiar with anatomy helps
especially if you’re doing realistic looking portraits because that helps you understand
where there might be bunching up of muscles and fat underneath the skin, where the skin
can be expected to crease or stretch or where there would be pillowing, like underneath the
eyes and around the mouth you would notice these gentle bulges or slopes. And knowing this helps you figure out where
the light and the shadows would fall And just so you know, I do switch the camera
angle in another minute or so, and you will see me working in the details from a better
angle than from the side here. Aside from this being a tutorial I also wanted
to let you know about a few things that are in store for those of you following me on
social media. If you’ve noticed, I’ve been feeling very
much energized to create in these past weeks – I’ve been painting, sketching and then
I did my Easter Egg project, and I’ve also been dabbling in photography and videography
as well. And I’ve been very productive and posting
stuff on social media at a very high frequency than I’ve been doing in the past. I kinda realized that I should – not really
tone it down – but just develop a more regular posting schedule, so you guys know when to
expect new stuff from me every week. And so hopefully I will be able to commit
to that in the weeks to come. And I also want to get into the habit of doing
more voiceover commentary in my videos so they are more informative and easier to follow. But you probably won’t see me too often in front
of the camera, coz that’s just something for now that I’m really shy and self-conscious
about, so I hope you don’t mind that, ah, let me get to that point when I’m ready. And you guys that are watching, you are, of
course, welcome to let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like me to do a
tutorial on, or any art materials that you’d like to see me try, and please feel free to
ask me any questions about my art process or about art stuff in general. You know, I’m still learning a lot about
these things as well, and I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned to those of you
who are also on your own art journey or even if you’re just curious about these things. So at this point, I’m still working
on layering the colors over one another, blending them together, and here I also start to pencil
in the base for the eyebrows. Now this is one of my favorite parts of the
process is when I add the highlights using a white charcoal pencil coz that just brings your
portrait to life and gives it a nice pop . I like to think of it as catching the light
in the right places on the paper and you don’t want to overdo it with the highlights so make
sure you restrain yourself with the use of the white pencil or white charcoal. And alongside doing the highlights I also
begin to deepen the areas of shadow And, now working on the nose… the nose has always been a challenge for
me to draw and to get the correct shape of it, and I think a lot of artists struggle
with this, so it would pay off if you spend considerable time studying nose anatomy. So notice my hand moves around a lot over the area of the portrait, working on one part of the face and then again another, because I don’t want
to get caught up in doing details at this point. I want to make sure I see the portrait as
a whole and not just in parts, because if you do that – if you look at it in parts
and focus on the details of the parts too soon you may fail to notice when something
is off about the overall anatomy and things may not look like they properly fit together. Now working on the lips or mouth you want
to make sure the outline of the lips is not too harsh and that you develop the fullness
of the lips with correct highlight and shadow placement, and there are a lot of subtle curves
in the lips that you want to take note of, and also above the upper lip there are a lot
of interesting shadows going on there too. And the lips as you can see, they also
reflect some sky color and as you can see I’m adding some blue color to the lips as
well. And then I’m also adding a bit more carmine hue
watercolor to the lips for a touch more vibrancy in this area, and I then I want to make sure
everything is blending together nicely. And also don’t forget about shaping the chin
with some gentle shadows and highlights. And I just want to comment that what’s amazing
to me is that I can add all these colors that aren’t the actual or real color of the skin,
but I’m able still to make your eye understand that the skin is tan or brown in color. And, that’s just kind of fascinating to
me that I’m learning this and beginning to understand how colors can be used together
to such effect. Like I said, I’m still in the learning phase
myself and it’s really only in this stage of my art career that I actually took the
time to dissect the process in this manner. And I’m really excited about where I can
go from here, from learning these things. It’s like what a lot of more experienced
artists will tell you, you can only bend or break the rules once you’ve learned them
and I think that’s where I’m at right now. I’m learning the rules and am just about
to begin experimenting with more of my personal technique and inject more of my own style
into my drawings and paintings. And I think that’s where I’m getting all
the energy to create art from at this time. So I just felt like I had to share that art
epiphany that I had with you. And back to this painting and working on the eye, don’t work on just one eye at a time. I would suggest going back and forth from
one to the other, if they’re both visible in your portrait, that is. And take a step back and look at the eyes
as part of the whole face once in a while and make sure they are looking like two orbs
properly set inside the skull. And we’re in the final stage now of this
portrait, I’m starting to add more and more detail. As you can see I’m starting to shape the
hairs on the eyebrow, and adding the shadows where they need to be here, and the hair on
this girl’s brow aren’t really all going in one direction so they do look rather unkempt
– as you might expect with a child. And then with a very finely sharpened black
pencil I carefully shape each eyelash, and I’m careful to make them appear light and
delicate and not clumped together. And working on the eyes is again one of my favorite things to do especially if they’re up this close and detailed Because from the eyes, you can show emotion and expression and personality And if you get them right, that’s gonna be the life of your portrait. And as I mentioned before, even though I do draw
in the hairline and hint at the shape of her curly hair, I don’t add any more detail
to it than that because I want the emphasis to be on the face only. And then I’ll just go around the face a
few more times, saturating some of the colors where necessary and darkening the shadows. And this portrait is pretty much done I’m just going over it with a few more finishing touches just to make sure the portrait has a completed look and doesn’t look unfinished. And just a little detail that I also wanted to add.. I draw in a few water droplets that trickled down her forehead and collected along her
jawline, because I think the girl in this reference photo is somewhere near a pool or
a beach, and I wanted to add that detail for some added interest. So I hope you enjoyed watching me work on
this portrait and that you learned something from me. If you have questions or comments, please
do leave them in the comments section below the video. If you’d like to see more of my artwork
and more videos like this, you can follow me on my social media accounts to get regular
updates from me. Thanks so much for watching, guys, I’ll
see you in the next video. Bye.

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