Home » Classic Watercolor Figure Painting Featuring President Teddy Roosevelt

Classic Watercolor Figure Painting Featuring President Teddy Roosevelt

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Step 1: From Figure Drawing To Figure Painting


Choose a figure to paint. While Steve recommends doing a live sketch, for convenience’s sake you can use a photograph with your model in a good lighting and position. In this particular course, Steve uses a full-body picture of Theodore Roosevelt.

Draw a ½” border for a possible mat board for framing your figure painting when it’s finished. Then, begin your sketch by marking where the top and the bottom of the body should be, and mark the midpoint as well for Teddy’s belt. This helps keep the proportions consistent.

Starting from the top, outline the hat and head, then make your way down to the shoulders and chest area. Be sure to study the angles of the arms and the overall proportions as well. Keep note of any wrinkles in your subject’s clothing, and both positive and negative shapes created by the figure’s pose. When drawing the legs, study your subject’s posture: a person’s head is always straight above where their weight is, so if they’re leaning on their left leg, the head should be aligned with the left leg. While you’re drawing, you can outline the shapes created by the shadows as well.

Below is a close-up of Steve’s sketch: