- Lesson Details
In This Lesson:
Mark describes the tools and the materials useful for your work in watercolor. Then he paints a watercolor sketch on a small scale so you can see color and value relationships without getting deep into details and small planes.
In This Course:
Learn to paint the portrait in watercolor with this new course from the late Mark Westermoe.
Mark Westermoe was a renowned artist, illustrator, and instructor, known for his work on many feature film posters such as Braveheart, Total Recall, and Home Alone.
Mark will cover all the tools and materials youʼll need for work in watercolor. You will start with small watercolor sketches and work your way to painting finished portraits using the Reilly Method.
You will learn to not simply copy your subject, but to add your own attitude to your portraiture.
In Mark’s words: “Try to bring yourself into whatever subject youʼre drawing or painting. As long as you have that youʼll maintain your interest.”
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I'll explain how I'm set up the palette and also the surface I'll be painting
on. I'm going to describe the materials , the brushes, the paper, anything else that will be
useful to your work in watercolors.
After that, I'm going to do watercolor sketches. A male head, man of mature years, female
figure or head, a male subject with strong light and shadow, one half of the head in shadow,
one half in light, very dramatic.
Always think in your painting, not just a literal accuracy
but think about that plus,
you know, an attitude. Something about the sitter, something that you want to say.
It might not even be what that sitter would want but it's your painting and you
can use it to your purposes.
So try to bring yourself into whatever subject you’re drawing or painting. As long as you
have that you have maintain your interest it will see you through the more challenging parts
of any particular painting and there always are. Okay
so let's go.
I'm going to describe the materials, the palette, the
brushes, the layout of your palette,
anything else that will be useful to your
work in watercolors.
After that, I'm going to do one or two little studies really,
just watercolor sketches.
And they're going to be quite small, just a couple inches
across and down.
so that's because I don't want you to get caught up in details,
small planes, all of that. I want you to get the big effect
of the color relationships and even more important the value
relationships. So we don't have the room to fuss around with
extra unnecessary small planes. Now, we will get into smaller
planes and larger paintings as the course goes on, but for today
that's our plan. That's how I studied watercolor, except I
studied it first in landscapes. So I just squared off with using
non adhesive tape,
rectangles on illustration board or
and then I go ahead and I work from a small landscape photo or
something printed out of a magazine in color. And then
I do a number of those. So the path to being consistent is not
to do one grand watercolor head and then another and then
another. It's much better I found to work in this way.
hope you enjoy the demonstration.
There'll be eight lessons in this course on painting the
head in watercolor.
I'll explain how I've set up the palette and also the
surface I'll be painting on.
And I'll describe the brushes and any other tools that you'll
want to use.
This board is merely
a Canson board. It's similar to a cold press illustration
board, which is another good surface.
That's what I'll use today is the Canson. I taped off
various rectangles so that today I'm going to start off
doing a couple of small heads. I think it's best when learning
watercolor not to start with a full life sized head.
You can resolve most of your issues on color and
composition if you start small and you can do a number of them
for homework, which is what I strongly recommend. I just used
a blue low adhesive tape. I think actually if you can find
a tape that's not got a color to it, but it's low tack you
will do better. The color can sometimes distract a little bit
from your color judgments that you make on the paintings. But
I think I can get past that and then you just want to really
tighten down the edges of your tape because you're trying to
create a tight frame.
I was a little loose so that a couple of these shapes aren't
exactly right angles all across but try to have the try to have that
the right angles in each corner.
Here we have the entire board.
You can see I've set up a couple at the top or later on
during the term when I'll enlarge the subject somewhat and large the subject somewhat and
then I have half a dozen others that I've taped off.
These ones I'll probably tape them further because I'd rather
have instead of a square. I'd rather have a portrait format,
which is more vertical.
So that's why we'll be using one of these for today.
All right now the palettes.
This is an inexpensive white plastic pallet. It has one, two,
three, four, five
relatively large mixing areas.
I set this inside an enamel butcher tray. So if I spill
over it doesn't get on me or or even on the drafting table
or whatever else you're working on.
Watercolors are all made by Windsor Newton.
I like their brand very much.
There are also good watercolors made by Graham and there are
some European brands too but I usually stick with either
Windsor Newton or Graham. There are student watercolors that
are less expensive but a tube of water color lasts a long
time, even though
it's sold in amounts that are smaller than you would get with
acrylics or oils.
So let me pull out a couple of these and I'll show you what
I'm talking about.
this is Windsor Newton Artist Watercolor Series 1 and its raw
Series 1 is the least expensive of the series of colors that
The earth tones, like raw sienna or like raw umber, burnt
umber, which I'm not using today. Any earth tones are less
expensive. Now the more chemical colours - see what we have here.
This is also a Series 1, but this is just a rose madder. If
you were to get cadmium yellow or cadmium red or cadmium
orange, it would cost more because of the chemical
composition of it.
So here's cadmium yellow
and this one is a series four that's their, most expensive
series, but don't worry too much. You'll see how little I
put out on the palette.
And that lasts a long time.
Now when I laid out my palette, I'll explain the thinking and
the sequence of the colors.
I'm starting - I'm not using white. Watercolor is a transparent
medium like markers.
It's not like pastels or oils or most acrylic usages. It's
not opaque. So we don't mix colors with white or other
light colors to cover the colors beneath
the strokes. So I've left this open
and then I put cadmium yellow right there. So I'm going from
the lightest warmest to the darkest coolest. So cadmium
yellow, yellow ochre,
raw sienna, which is similar, but darker to yellow ochre
and more transparent. Yellow ochre has a little bit of
grainy quality to it. So I'll point out several colors that
do. Then we come to cadmium red or cadmium red light.
Here is rose madder. M-A-D-D-E-R.
It's a useful color we find it in the skin tones a lot to say
nothing of other subjects too. This is alizarin crimson
spelled A-L-I-Z-A-R-I-N crimson.
The cadmium red leans toward orange or scarlet and the
crimson leans toward purple.
So one is a warm red and the other is a cool red.
For the most part all of your secondary and primary colors
have a warm and a cool variance.
In our case, we have cadmium yellow,
but I usually put on some cadmium yellow light. I'll be
doing that in the next week.
That leans toward green, cadmium yellow leans toward orange. So
this is the warm version of yellow. The other version is a
Again, I'll bring it next week.
next I'm going from my warm colors to my cool colors.
There are three.
Well, there is a -
there are two primaries and one secondary color that make up
our warm palette.
Primary would be the red and yellow and then orange would be
the secondary color. I don't need to put orange out, cadmium
orange is also expensive. I can just mix some cadmium yellow
with cadmium red and that will give me a perfect orange.
Okay now for your warm -for your cool colors, I start with green,
I move to blue, and then to violet. Or purple and violet.
Okay, so green I start here
with olive green.
This palette doesn't have quite enough little pockets so I just
put it here. This is veridian.
I'll double check what I use for here. Sometimes I use
like a forest green or some other color, but I'll get back
to you on that one.
Here, this is cerulean blue. It's a warm almost Caribbean Sea
color kind of a blue and it leans toward green.
Ultramarine, which is its neighbor, is darker and a leans
toward violet. So this is a warm blue and this is a cool
Veridian is a mint color so it's a cool color, whereas
olive green has some yellow in it. So it's a warm green.
After ultramarine I've gone over here
and this is a
cobalt, see that this cobalt violet.
Okay, violet is a cool
violet and a warm violet would be purple.
For something approximating purple they do sell a purple,
but I just use magenta which is right here.
Magenta is a color you really, you know, like the others I'm
showing you, you can't really mix it but if you use it in
certain combinations, say with yellow ochre, cadmium red
it gives you kind of a coral color so that your paintings
don't go quite so orange as they might if you didn't have
This is my raw umber over here.
With light reflections it's sometimes hard to see. This is
my ivory black.
I don't always use exactly these same colors, but I do
always use a yellow, a red, a crimson,
and viridian which is sometimes called emerald green. It'sspelled
V-I-R-I-D-I-A-N. And I always use ultramarine.
Alright this color,
it's a very dark color is called Payne's Gray. P-A-Y-N-E-S gray
is actually a mixture of ultramarine blue and black but
it's convenient just to have some.
I can use this color along with raw umber to try to neutralize.
This one will help neutralize warm colors.
Payne's gray and raw umber will help neutralize
cool colors. Then this is ultramarine blue, French
ultramarine blue and this is ultramarine violet.
And then finally I have here, I've got ivory black.
So be careful when you're using black
it can muddy up your colors, but it has its place. It's not
something to be afraid of.
Let's talk about other surfaces you might want to
Arches is a very good brand of watercolor paper. You can get a
pad like this.
And this is also a -
they call it a fine grain, but you know, it's all relative.
You can get smoother. You can get coarser surfaces.
This one is absorbent. You can also get a water color block
which is sealed on all sides with a glue that you can simply
cut using a razor blade.
And when you paint on that block you leave the paper right
on the block itself. And so you only cut it loose after you're
And that will help prevent it from curling.
For illustration board, I mentioned that cold-press
illustration board is a very good surface.
Hot press, which is very smooth, is a good surface too. With hot
press you can expect different results. For instance the
watercolor itself will tend to pool on the surface of the hot
press and will sometimes leave a little bit of a ring of color
around whatever stroke you make but that can become a very good
on elements in your painting so you can try both. Just get a,
once again, you can get a 15 by 20 sheet of hot press
illustration board and a 15 by 20 sheet of cold press and then
you can just tape them off into any size you like and practice
and see what it is that you care for most.
One good exercise, which I'm not going to get involved in
today. But this is one of the ways I learned watercolor is to
create small rectangles. Like I've done even smaller
and get color landscape photos, it can be from magazines or
from your own collection
and try to do small studies of those landscapes and the more
you do the stronger you will become and that will prepare you
for doing large subjects. Okay now onto brushes.
is for Filbert brush as Filbert's
are not flat. A flat brush has a right angle to it like that
A Filbert you'll notice has a beveled edge on either side.
And when I'm talking about watercolor, I'm talking about
soft, usually synthetic brushes because sable and sabeline
are very expensive. But if you take care of your brushes and
you want to buy them, they're certainly excellent and they
hold their shape for much longer than the synthetics.
So to give you a scale here, this is called Royal and
a number four brush,
which is a medium size to small size brush. This one,
same series same company, is a number two brush.
Nice thing about these Filberts is you can paint with
the side of them to get a narrow stroke or you can pay with the
back or the front of them and get a fuller stroke. So you can
twist them create all kinds of shapes that go from narrow to
large, what have you.
This is another in the same company and series and this is
a size eight.
If you're going to really do a lot of water color and paint
big you should probably get a size 12 and a size 10.
The other kind of brush that I use with watercolors
is a round.
A round is named because it has a circular cross section.
It actually presents itself to us as a point. So maybe you
might think of it as a pointed brush, but it's known
as a round. Other painters use flats, which as I said have a
right angle on each side and they get wonderful painting
So you'll develop your own preferences.
And I got several sizes of these round brushes.
It's not a bad idea to have a couple of each size so that for
certain effects you can work with a brush that's quite dry.
Other times with a brush that's moist.
And then here are some - by the way the numbers on these -this
is a number zero.
And this one
is a number one.
is a number two.
Now you can go below zero, you can go to a double zero or even
a triple zero. In this brand they don't make that but they
make something called a five slash zero,
which is smaller like that.
And here's a round brush that's actually a number four.
So for certain small areas
you're going to definitely need to have some round brushes that
come to a point. Now the care of your brushes, okay
never leave the brushes inside a container of water
If you were to leave a brush like this
betweens painting sessions,
it would probably develop a bent angle just from sitting at
such an angle. You don't want that. So make sure you clean
your brushes between your sessions pretty much right
after you use them. I don't use with watercolors anything other
than just water to clean the brushes and I don't use
watercolor brushes for any other paint medium except
Acrylic will get inside the fibers of the bristles,
oils will gum up the brush, it won't come to a point the way
you want it to so you have to have dedicated brushes for
watercolor. They don't necessarily have to be labeled
at the store watercolor brushes.
You can get a brush that's labeled maybe acrylic brush or
whatever they want to call it.
As long as it has these characteristics. Soft fibers
either flat or filbert in my case and then rounds for the
Other tools that are going to help you out. Let's talk about
Kleenex or any
other brand of
With Kleenex when the painting is wet -
well, one of its uses is you can clean your brush a little bit
or test the amount of paint on your brush.
Another use is if the paint is wet, you can take a
Kleenex and create any kind of a point that you want and you
can pick up the paint like that.
I suppose some painters even use Kleenex to apply the paint
if they want certain textual qualities, but that's not what
I use it for. You'll also need a roll of paper towels just for
An eyedropper like this.
You don't have to buy it at the art store. You can pick it up
at a beauty supply store and just
dip it in your water, squeeze, and it will pick up a good amount
of water like we see here.
And then just
obviously drop it on the surface. If I drop it on the
surface of the white paper, it will be absorbed. If I drop it
on this tape, it's not really absorbent and so it just beads
up. But you'll be using that for a variety of things.
It's good to have
I don't mean charcoal or wax pencil here. I think best is
just to use a simple graphite pencil. Keep it sharp.
This one is a little bit softer than what I usually use. It's a
but I think a good number for that would be an F
as in Frank or an HB.
Those are all good grades of pencil. If you get any
any higher grade than a 4B like a 6B, it just tends to
crumble a little too much and you don't want to mix really
with your paints.
But sometimes I don't even bother using a pencil I'll just
go directly. However, it's good to have, you'll probably use it.
I mentioned the tape, this role is little too wide so get
something about half that width but it looks like this. This one
is made by 3M. You can buy it at the hardware store. You
don't have to pay extra money by going to the art store.
A kneaded eraser is a good thing. Oh, I've just been handed
This is kind of a better width.
This is quite broad. You can get them as think even smaller
and that's probably best.
I use the kneaded eraser too. This is different from a pink
pearl eraser or a white vinyl eraser because I can shape it.
I can create like a small ledge like this and I can actually
draw into the painting and until it's dry, but it can
actually lighten the color with this even when it is dry.
It's just a slightly different look so kneaded eraser. Sponges.
Sponges are great.
You can apply paint with them. You can hit the painting while
it's still wet with a sponge to create certain textures. This
is a pretty normal sponge, but you can also buy sea sponges
that have very irregular shapes, kind of spiky but soft, and
those are probably even more useful to you than this. I may use
this today, I may wait until a little later in this term.
Oh, yeah water containers.
Since I'm painting small, I didn't bring a large tub for
water. I just brought these small little ones. And so
typically I have one that I use to clean my brushes with cool
colors and another that I use when my brushes have warm
colors on them. So that's two tubs of water right there. And
then I keep a clean one too. Now, why do I separate warms
and cools? Because
when the two mix together they create kind of a muddy color.
This way I can just organize my colors into warms and into
So these are very convenient. Otherwise, you can just get
like a margarine container or something that's not -
preferably not glass. You don't have to spend a lot of money on
any supply for that.
Okay one or two points before I start the demo.
unlike gouache or acrylic, is best used when it's dry. So I
laid out this fresh paint this morning
and it will be pretty well dry by tomorrow. Nonetheless it's
easier to control if it's dry. I have enough experience. I'll
just use very little paint, really don't need to use a lot
of paint certainly if I'm using this scale, but
yeah. So now with gouache it's a different story. You want to
keep the gouache wet as long as you can so you can have
multiple painting sessions.
of the model's head
and drawn very lightly.
Definitely all in favor of high contrast in many cases at least
for this purpose, it's important that you
gain the ability to draw very lightly.
I don't even know if you can see it very well on the TV
monitor, but here all the matters is that you the artist
can see it well.
You don't want too much pencil coming through in the painting
So I pick up the under plane of the nose, the bottom of the lower
lip, corner of the mouth on each side.
Probably pick up here the eyebrow.
Just using the weight of the pencil.
And then here
just the simple abstract shape of his eye socket, which is
mostly in shadow.
And then you can see the front plane of the head is in light,
the side plane falls into shadow,
the hair has a nice S curve to it from the scalp to the
the ear is about the height of the nose.
So if you find the top of it or the bottom of it, you should be
able to get it, right.
Okay, it's not a wild
touchy-feely kind of a drawing but at the same time it's not a
straight jacket. It narrows things down and doesn't do much
more than that.
Now there are a couple things you can do to start off.
Number one I'm going to use -
I'll use this
panel to test my color so I know before I put it on the
painting itself that is satisfies me in terms of its
value, its intensity, and its hue. Remember color has three
threequalities. It has value, how light or dark, it has hue,
is it orange, is it green, is it red, blue
And it has the third is intensity, is it a dull yellow,
or is it a very very strong bright lemon yellow.
So those are the three dimensions that we have to
orchestrate when we're painting.
Of those three value is probably 90% or more
in importance whereas
hue and intensity are maybe five percentage. So make sure
your value structure works. If the color is somewhat different
from what you intended or from what it really is that's okay
if your values work
then you've got it. Intensity can be a problem. He's got kind
of a little bit of a ruddy complexion on his nose. But if
I were to pick red right off the palette, I might get the
value right by mixing enough water, but the intensity would
be far too great. So those are things to look at and that's
warm cools to neutralize.
I'm sorry warm colors to neutralize cool colors. And
cool colors neutralize warm colors that becomes very
important. Of course you should know your color wheel.
Yellow is opposite violet, orange is opposite blue and red
is opposite green.
Okay, so there are six primary and secondary colors
and you can use those to neutralize
Alright, so let's go ahead. I think what I'm going to do
here, let's pick a reasonably small brush.
I'll take this,
this is the number two.
So I'm going to just pick up some water.
test the amount of water here. I keep a Kleenex on hand
at all times.
And now let's dip in and pick up some pigments.
I'm going to start off with the approximate average skin tone
in the light. There's a different skin color in the
The shadow is influenced also by cool reflected light. You
probably see that next to his eye socket. So and then in some of
the skin tone there are areas that go a little more gray like
under his eyes or the chin and other areas that go a little
more red like the ears, the nose, cheek, but for now, I'm not
going to make secondary distinctions like that. I'm
just going to go with an average and in order to do it -
get a bigger brush - I'm just going to lay water over
the whole surface.
Or at least over the head let's say.
So what I'm doing therefore is painting wet on
The surface has been
covered in water. You can do the same thing with an oil painting
if you use paint thinner for instance or other mediums.
Now a good average Caucasian skin coloration
is really yellow ochre
and some cadmium red.
Notice that the red has a higher tinting power than the
yellow ochre. What is tinting power? Tinting power is
how much does a pigment
white when mixed with white? So a tiny touch of crimson
here when added to white will go quite strong in color.
But a tiny touch of raw umber here
is not going to have a very strong effect. So raw umber has
a low tinting power.
Veridian, ultramarine blu
alizarin crimson have high tinting powers.
I'm taking a little more of the red.
Okay. Now you see
that's fairly red. So I'm going to dip in get a little more of
the yellow ochre.
But it has a lower tinting power so don't expect it to
radically change the color here.
Done this now. I'll get a little more water on the brush.
And now I'll add a little bit of magenta.
Now magenta is a relative of purple and purple and violet
are the compliments of yellow.
So not only will it land a little bit of a kind of a coral
coloration to it,
but it will
neutralize it somewhat too.
Let's put a little more yellow on to it. I'll just go directly
for the cadmium yellow.
Now that's going a little bit too mustardy.
So I'll add some more red.
Actually let me take a little bit of the alizarin crimson.
There that's just about what I wanted. This is rose madder,
but as a similar effect, this is alizarin crimson.
so now we're trying to pick up the little bit of that coral
kind of coloration.
I'm going to
put some water
on this particular square in the corner, and then I'm going
to test the color I mixed.
Okay, so it's going down quite dark because it's still pretty
saturated. So what I'm going to do is mix in some more white -
not white forgive me - some more water.
If this were wash I'd be mixing in white
I'm not ideologically opposed to using white but I don't use
it to mix my colors
with watercolors. I might use it for accents
or rim light or something like that, but even there if I can
possibly get away with it.I prefer not to use it.
Okay watercolor is like markers. You go from a light surface to
The opposite is true of pastels or oils.
But with watercolor I want to avoid
getting too dark.
It's wet on wet so the paint will tend to bleed into itself
and you can give it more or less textured brushy surface
In a lot of ways watercolor is an
excercise in restraint.
Okay, I'm going to use a
and with that
I can move from one stage to the next without waiting so
long for it to dry.
Okay, there are two other main elements to the color
There's the background.
Let me just paint the hair and here too.
There's the background and then there's the jackets.
Let me just paint in the hair a little bit here, too.
Now for the background
I'm generally going from the lighter colors to the darker.
So I'll wet the background using just water.
I don't want the edge of his head to be totally cut out like
scissors. So I might scrub a little bit of this into
the head as I go. See they're softening a little bit.
That causes a little bit of the skin coloration to mingle with
water. That doesn't matter. I don't want it to be a really
cold blue. It's kind of a warm blue anyway.
I could actually
bring it down into the jacket a little bit if I want too.
All right. So what do we got here? Let's take some
ultramarine blue. And by the way, there is no simple -
there's no formula for this.
Some things yeah, maybe a bit but for the most part
you just the most important thing is knowing the color you
want to achieve and then you can find ways of getting that
color without difficulty.
So for your basic skin tone for a Caucasian maybe you want to
write down yellow ochre,
and maybe a little bit of raw umber or magenta, but
otherwise, it's not really that important.
not as formulaic as you might guess I put a little raw
umber into this mix
because I don't want it to be a loud blue.
When I put a little cerulean blue in you see that it tends
to lean toward green.
Whereas I think it just wants to lean more toward
violet so back I go to get some
And even some of the paint I used on the head it can be used
to kind of kill it or knock it down a little bit.
Then I'm going to wet the scratchboard,
bit of white that I've got in the corner, very important to
have this test your colors.
No, that's actually not bad, but it's way too dark. So what
do I do? I use more water.
Sean maybe I wanted to lean a little bit more toward
violet, so I'll pick up a little magenta.
That's a lot. Notice magenta has a high tinting power.
Oh and the tinting power of a pigment is also affected by
which manufacturer's product you're using. Sometimes one
company's crimson will have a higher tinting power than
another. Generally the better paints have a higher tinting
So squint at your reference, and you'll notice
that the background
is a little bit darker. Well, not just a little bit but
darker than the head.
It's up to you. You can leave it a little
Don't try to pin it down again perfectly. It's not
something you'd use a ruler and a scissors lift.
Now that's quite dark. So I just pick up some water,
put it down, maybe touch it with the Kleenex a little.
And I'll add some more water to my mixture and go back.
All right. Let's look at the jacket.
The jacket kind of leans a little bit toward violet and
you certainly wouldn't use just black. I know it's a black
leather jacket, but that doesn't mean the light
source, the color of it or anything else presents it to our eye as being
So let's take a little bit of our ultramarine violet
Actually, it's right here.
And some ultramarine with it.
Maybe a little bit of magenta.
Too much magenta.
So back I go for the ultramarine violet.
Still too purple I think so add a little bit more of the - whoops,
that's way too much more -
of the ultramarine.
And we're going to wet the jacket with water.
A lot of oil painters use
well, they usually use oil but some use watercolor to do small
thumbnail compositional sketches
as a guide
for the finished painting that they're about to do.
This is a little too intense. So I'm just going to take a
little bit of raw umber,
not too much,
and knock that down a little bit.
And testing it on my scratch sheet here. See if it doesn't
go too brown or too violet, a little bit brown. So I'll pick
up some more of the ultramarine,
mix that again into that mix
and then thin it
There are a lot of crests lights and highlights on his
jacket, which is reflective in its surface. So I'm not going
to just cover the whole thing.
I've set the angle at a very low angle.
Obviously if you were to set this at 90 degrees,
which you can do with an oil painting for instance,
the paint would drip vertically.
I'm not saying dripping
is a bad thing necessarily, but
I'm not going to use much of that in today's example.
A really good way to work is
at a level surface, level parallel to the floor but
at the same time if you get larger than this, this is my
thumb, it's pretty small,
then if you're working on a horizontal surface, unless you
can sit right over it -
not bad - but
you'll get a little bit of distortion and perspective. So
that's never a good thing.
Okay. Now I'm going to paint the shadows and the dark hair.
So want to mix up an average and it will probably correspond
to the color
that we see between his right ear
and his eye socket where the side plane turns from the front
plane of the head,
just below the temple and above the cheek.
So, how are we going to mix that?
Well, maybe we have some starting point right here with
the colors we've already used. Let's see.
Remember, there's a bluish kind of a orientation at that point.
So, how can we get that?
Might even go with a warmer blue like cerulean for that.
Remember, we don't have to get the exact color.
The value is important but exact color not so much.
Families of color, yes. Is in the blue family, is it in the
yellow family and so on.
But otherwise not so important. And let's see now what if I
squint at the photo, I see that the shadow on the side of his
head is darker than the background. So I'm always cross
comparing one value with another and not just the one
next to it, but somewhere else in the painting.
Okay, so let's wet down the surface once again.
side plane overhead,
cast shadow under his nose, mouth, and jaw.
You might be a little darker than I want. So I'll just pick
All that means is I've got to just mix a little more water
So let's say I want to soften an edge like
here on the muzzle. If I want to soften that edge I just bring
some water up against it like so.
Picking up a little bit of magenta.
I guess a little bit of
And define the cast shadow over the neck.
Let's try to pick up the hair color.
If it works elsewhere in the painting, I'll use it.
You don't have to mix a specific color
for each passage in the painting.
Just giving us some softer edges so it's not to cut out.
Trying to let it bleed or breathe a little bit.
Took a little cadmium red.
And just lighten it a little bit with water.
Now I'm getting a little more
particular about some of these shapes.
When I start painting some of the half tones. All I've done
now is paint the lights and the shadows, the background and the
now we're going to do the very close valued
planes that make up
planes within the light that are angled to the light source
and therefore receive
less light than the planes that are at right angles to the
Color in photographs is not a hundred percent reliable.
helps your sense of color in the figure if you do paint from
You usually find that the color in the forehead
is a little more yellow
in its cast and the color in the cheeks and the
ears and nose a little more red.
Color in the jaw little more gray.
But that's not a hard-and-fast rule either.
And sometimes it's affected quite a bit by the color of the
light source or by the color of the light
in the background.
That needs more water.
It's a little too dark, too saturated.
Easy enough to do.
Just took a little bit of
magenta and some raw umber.
And I guess a little bit of ultramarine blue, too.
That's too much right there, but I can adjust that.
I'm gonna soften this edge a little bit.
Just bringing his jaw out a little bit
by using just water and a brush.
Darken up that shadow with the reflected light.
You can soften a few edges just using water on brush.
Just lengthening the chin a little bit using water.
Now I'm just going to go back in and get some contrast in the
For just a simple small sketch, this is how I might go about it.
Next week on might change the paper and we'll see a slightly
different set of effects on the painting but for today
I just use that kind of -
it says it's got a fine-tooth, but it really doesn't. This
particular Canson paper.
So it tends to absorb quite a bit.
Nothing wrong with that.
Every surface is different.
But like I said earlier you probably develop your own
I'll give a little bit of a gradation
to the background.
And then that's it. I don't want to do a really rendered finish
especially at this scale. Remember how small it is, this is my thumb
compared to it. So we'll work larger next week and we'll work
longer. We don't have preliminaries on materials and
equipment to go over so
good. And then the last thing I'll do is I'll just strip off
Okay, then. So try doing these on a small scale like this.
Once again, you can see it in relationship to my hand. It's
not very large.
do a number of them with different colorations.
You've got choices that we presented to you in the way of
different head photos, different lighting, different angles.
So the best way to get warmed up and ready for this is to do
a number of these little studies and
so, there we go.
Notice how the paint sometimes pools up a little bit on
itself, such as this plane here
the plane of the cleft in his chin or here. If I were to
carry this further using really small brushes, I could carry it
to a very very very realistic level. But right now I want to
let the watercolor have a certain spontaneity to it while at
the same time treating everything
very representationally. One last stroke before we go,
it's going to be right here.
That edge is a little choppy and so it bothers me somewhat
and I'm just going to simplify it.
That's a little better.
Okay, great. Alright. Thanks for watching and
good luck finding your supplies again. You don't have to buy
they're top grade. You can get student level and that'll save you
a bit of money, but it does last a long time. I'll refer
you back to the palette one more time and my final comment
will be about how to just clean the palette real fast.
So for this I just need a paper towel.
By the way, here you see this one tub of water as warm
And this one
is just clear water.
And this is what I'm going to use to clean the palette with.
It's real simple. Don't waste good t-shirt rags on this, just
a paper towel.
You can wet it
and then just
go back over it.
The paints will be completely dry next week.
And actually when they're dry
they're easier to handle, much easier to mix up your
values, colors, and intensities.
And rather than bore you with the cleanups I'll just do this
later in my day. And
so, good. I hope you learned a couple things and then we'll be
back for more next week.
a complementary color scheme. In other words, it's got a warm
and a cool element in it. In our case the warm is the flesh
tones and the cool are the background and the jacket. So
it doesn't mean that everything in the light is warm and
everything in the shadow is cool. There are other influences
that can be worked in but I'm going to try to keep it -I did
try to keep it really simple today and I hope you get a
chance to practice these. I really think that's the road to
the payoff is if you do a number of these small head
studies or sketches. Thanks for your enrollment and
interest in the class.
Free to try
1. Course Trailer1m 27sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Lesson Overview2m 9s
3. Tools and Materials25m 39s
4. A Male Head Sketch (Part 1)24m 3s
5. A Male Head Sketch (Part 2)35m 15s
6. Lesson Summary1m 0s