Expressive portrait painting in watercolor!

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Part 2-Lesson: Light and shadow – with video!

This blog post with a video is the second part of the series “Paint a portrait modern and expressive in watercolor”

In the video I show you an approach how to recognize the tonal values of light and shadow and to implement them freely and expressively in a simple portrait. The watercolor is my medium for that. But you can also experiment with ink, chalk and pencils. Feel free. It should be fun.

It’s not about realistic portraits but about a freer representation of a face. But still, seeing and recognizing tonal values is important. They are only interpreted more freely.

Seeing and painting the tonal values of light and shadow is the great mastery of good painters.

Especially when painting portraits, many people find it very difficult to recognize the tonal values.

If you feel that way too, you can edit your reference image with a photo editor and make light and shadow visible. Then you can better use the crafted photography as a coloring page.

 

Make light and shadow visible with a photo editing program

Basically, it’s not that new to use a photo editor program to make the light and dark areas visible on a picture. With Adobe Photoshop, you can experiment with shadows / tone and brightness / contrast and levels at the top of the menu bar with overwork – adjust lighting.

But you can also take any other photo editing program. If you don´t have one you can use a free one on the internet. Go to www.canva.com.

Here I show you how it works with canva.

There you must first set up a user account. Did you do that? Click on “Create Design”. Go to “Marketing – Materials” and select “Poster”. Select a template with a colored image on the left. Double-click on it and it will appear in the working area. Now drag the selected image and the font just out of the workspace. Now select “Upload” on the left side and upload your photo template. Drag your picture into the workspace. Click on your picture in the workspace and a menu bar will appear at the top. Select “Filter” and edit your image. Here is a screenshot which settings I have made for my picture.

When you’re done, click on download and select “JPG” and load the finished image onto your computer. Print it out and surround the light and shadow areas so that you can see them better.

Exciting pictures with a spontaneous style of painting

Now use the edited photo template to draw the well-visible light and shadow areas onto the watercolor paper. In the video for this article, I’ll show you an approach.

For an expressive painting style, the freedom of depicting portraits is almost limitless. By simplifying tonal values and spontaneous application of color, very exciting images can be created. Best without pre-drawing and serial painting, you will always be safer in the brush stroke and so you develop your own style.

My next post is about the colors for expressive portraits. It will be the third part of the series “A portrait modern and expressive paint in watercolor”.

Keep doing!

Your

Angela

PS: By the way, a great tip, I use Canva for all my self-designed greeting cards and invitations of course, with my own watercolors.

In this slider are the links to the series “A portrait modern and expressive paint in watercolor”

Click on the arrows!

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4 Comments

  1. Mel

    Nice video, thank you.

    • Angela Tatli

      Hi Mel, thank you for writing for me.

  2. Sam

    I am excited about your portraits.

    • Angela Tatli

      Thank you Sam for your Feedback.

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