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All Watercolor Techniques For Painting A Classic Portrait

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Follow Steve Curl as he teaches you all the watercolor techniques required to paint a color portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt from a black-and-white reference photo. This tutorial covers helpful planning and drawing techniques to more advanced watercolor techniques like painting a turning edge versus a rigid edge and creating a “lost-and-found” effect. Want to watch the video version? This tutorial is also available to members of our Watercolor University.

Materials used:

  • Reference picture of a profile of President Theodore Roosevelt (you can print one out here)
  • A block of Arches cold press watercolor paper (140lb, size 16″ x 12″)
  • HB or 2B pencil
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Painting palette for watercolor paints
  • A container of water
  • A towel or rag to rest brushes on
  • Tissue or paper towel

Paints (Holbein Artist’s Watercolors)

  • Cadmium Yellow Deep
  • Aureolin
  • Cadmium Yellow Orange
  • Cadmium Red Deep
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Ultramarine Deep
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Peacock Blue
  • Sap Green
  • Hooker’s Green
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Sepia
  • Payne’s Grey
  • Lamp Black

Brushes

  • Silver Brush Black Velvet: Cat’s tongue brush (¾” width)
  • Fibonacci Kolinsky-Sable: Round brush (size 12)
  • Escoda Kolinsky-Sable: Round brush (size 6)
  • Cheap Joe’s Fritch: Scrubber brush (size 4)
  • Synthetic round brush (size 6)