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Watercolor Portrait Of A Son: Beginner’s Guide To Portraiture

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Step 9: Balancing Final Values And Finishing Touches


Change to the no. 12 round brush, and mix a more saturated Burnt Sienna with some Neutral Tint and French Ultramarine for a very dark brown. Add another layer to the hair to bring it towards the foreground, and drop in pure French Ultramarine in the shadowed side. Don’t worry – the wet paints will mix on your paper, so the hair won’t end up looking blue. Using the same method, darken the pupils and eye area for a more striking portrait.

Add Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Red Purple to a little of the brown mixture, and dilute it before adding a light wash to the white highlights on the nose, lips, and part of the side of the face. This helps tone down the harshness of the white, and gives more of a transition between light and shadow in your watercolor portrait painting.

Do any finishing touches as necessary, and cover any backwashes that may be seen. Finally, you can sign your painting using the small no. 1 round brush before leaving it to dry and taking off the masking tape. Feel free to frame it, or keep practicing for your next portrait painting!