Portrait Demonstration Watercolor Painting

I am currently teaching a watercolor portrait class at the Art Students League of Denver and this is a painting that I did as a demonstration for the class. I had been emphasizing using more color in portraits to make them more interesting. Rather than simply painting the models dark hair black, I used blue indigo, burnt umber, ultramarine blue, and burnt sienna with bold brush strokes that allowed the colors to mix on the paper. She had an interesting complexion and I used olive green on the underside of her nose and where her neck was in shadow. I painted the tip of her nose red, the shadow under her lower lip cobalt violet, and used warm and cool colors around her eye and I did all this in conjunction with the skin tone mixture of red and yellow ochre. I painted the background with different reds and violets and allowed it to blend with her hair and the back of her hat. I like showing visible brushstrokes, paint mixing on the paper and spattered paint because it shows the artist at work and in my mind it looks more like a painting.

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