- Lesson details
In This Lesson:
Mark goes over another male head with attention to forms, color, and intricate halftones.
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'm actually going to go over another male head. I really
want to cover something that we got a lot of form and we can
handle some intricate half-tones. Our subject today
has quite a colorful
headband and jacket
and so we'll see how we can work with something that's got
that much color.
head. This time I wanted to show how the lighting describes
the form very clearly. You see that from the front plane of the
head is squarely in the light. And then the side plane on his
left side is in shadow. On the side plane on his right side is
getting the light but where it meets the front plane along the
and the under plane of the brow and tooth cylinder, we get a
reflection of the light source called a crest light that's
where two planes are more come together and
and reflect the source of light. So
that's the way that I see the form of the head and that's
what I'm going to try to emphasize in the painting. I'm
not going to bother doing a drawing here. I'll just start
off with a wash for the average color and temperature of his
head, which is warm.
So take here some
And I guess I'll mix in a little bit of raw sienna.
Just putting down a wash over the area that's going to
represent the head.
I'm using a hot press illustration board
15 by 20 divided in half.
So that would be about 10 by 15.
All right, and now let's try to mix up something of an average
So I'm putting in some yellow ochre some, raw sienna.
I'll take a little bit of cadmium red.
Neutralize it a little bit with some raw
Mix it up real
nice and well, so it's not lumpy or anything like that. And
start by drawing the head.
Now the head is not one uniform color,
it undergoes changes. A little more pink or red in the ear,
little more gray in the jaw,
and so on. But
for starters I'm not going to be too picky about those
This just gives me kind of a field of color to start working
Before I start painting the head and the shadows on it and
I should probably place some background color.
So let's take a -
guess we've got some ultramarine blue here,
Very strong tinting power if you can see my palette.
Background is a dark blue in this particular case.
I'll neutralize that a little bit with some rose matter or maybe
even more to the point with some cadmium red.
plan to go pretty dark. So the fact that it's really really
dark here on the palette and red doesn't disturb me. I'll just
take some more of the ultramarine.
A little bit more.
Might want to wet that background a little bit before
I put it down. So I'll take a clean clear brush,
put down some water on the painting
all around it.
I'm not trying for an exact match
to the color that's in the photograph. I could but I don't
see any purpose in it.
I've got a dark,
cool color happening, and that's about the most that I'm
Notice with the illustration board wet,
the paint just melts into itself, so it doesn't create a
lot of texture.
A little more blue here.
I could take a little more red for that matter.
It probably doesn't want to be absolutely uniform in color
For the moment will disregard his shirt and his hat.
So, you know, if I want to clear the paint that's on the brush a
cotton t-shirt rag works very well.
Now I'll squint at him and
when I do, you know, all these stripes and decorations on his
garment will kind of mass together into one
and it's kind of what I want them to do at this point.
Let's take some alizarin in crimson,
little bit of magenta, more crimson,
and just put this down as an average kind of for the
coloration of his shirt.
Clear the brush a little bit and then pick up something
that's leans more towards scarlet, which is what his cap
seems to be made of.
The values are still pretty light as you can see.
I'm not going very dark.
Let's pick up some more crimson,
maybe a little raw umber.
Or a lot raw umber, probably too much.
But that's easy to adjust.
And start painting in the light and dark pattern.
I'm being pretty free and easy about my shapes here.
I don't want to
be too stiff.
I'll take some black and a little crimson
and maybe we'll start painting some of the darkest darks on
It's good to get those darks in place early because they can
help you judge your other values as you proceed through
Just going to blow it dry now a little bit.
I'm going to switch over to some smaller brushes, but let
me first put in some of the stronger colors on the print on
I'll take a little bit of crimson here.
The color will draw a little less intense
than it looks when you first lay it on wet.
All right. So we're starting to get sort of a ghost, like a
vague impression of the head now.
I've been pretty clear, although very loose, about
delineating the shadow,
separating it from the light. I've got a lot of room to paint
down in value because I've put down pretty big
sort of a
light wash over the whole subject. Let me do one more
thing before I get back into the head. And this one
is going to be too dark and up that background.
So go back to our ultramarine blue.
pick up a little bit of rose matter here.
It's going to lend it a little bit of a violet cast. So kill
that with some raw umber.
Don't want it to be too colorful.
And then pick up a little more blue.
See where that takes us.
Remember, I can always test my color here.
There we go.
If you're looking at the photo reference it's a pretty dark
brushes as I begin to define the planes of the head and the
All this color I've mixed, it doesn't have to go to waste. It
can be used as part of my
Let me just blow-dry this for a moment.
Notice I kind of skip around the painting. I don't want to
fixate on any one area at this point.
Let's put a little more yellow in the forehead.
I'm kind of weaving the color. It's not all yellow on the at it's not all yellow on the
forehead, all red in the cheek, all gray in the jaw. It's got
some of everything.
couple little areas. Now I'm going to clean up using some
just some water.
Make my drawing a little more precise here.
So you can use Kleenex,
which I'm doing here.
You can also use Q-tips or rags.
This surface, the hot press illustration board,
it allows you to do this. Some surfaces are a little more
sensitive. You don't quite have the freedom to do this kind of
work on them. Thank you.
Here for instance is a Q-tip.
So you can carve out that light shape right there.
Same thing here.
You can help you manipulate your edges, too.
Okay, now we can start going back in, painting some of the
smaller light planes.
If I see a place in the painting or the same value of
color that I've got on my brush might apply then I'll use it.
So it's again, it's not like one area is all yellow and one
area is all blue and one area is all red.
The head has all of those colors.
And after all value is what is the dominant characteristic of
paint. That's what we're trying to keep pretty faithful to.
Let's strengthen that whole form shadow.
So I took some alizarin crimson, little bit of a
viridian or emerald green,
make a nice rich dark tone.
I like that stronger dark for the background. So I'm going to
just pause for a moment and
put that in place.
And let's see what that looks like.
Okay. Now when I darken the background I can see the values
on the head are still quite light and that means
now I can mix up the appropriate values to describe
Putting a little bit of gray around the jaw.
And for that I just used some cerulean blue pretty much.
I'm gonna put a little transition color between the
light pattern and the form shadow. Machado
It can be pretty warm here on the cheek.
for a couple hours the sketch, maybe a little bit less,
not bad. Again I just used hot press illustration board think
the format here is a 10 by 15.
well, first of all, you don't use very much paint with
watercolor and yet you get an awful lot done in a short time.
Our subject today was pretty intricate, man of amateur years,
lots of interesting planes to deal with. So
I had a good time painting him and I hope you guys get a
chance to practice at home.
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview31sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Painting a Male Head on a Hot Press Illustration Board (Part 1)22m 20s
3. Painting a Male Head on a Hot Press Illustration Board (Part 2)32m 3s
4. Lesson Summary32s