Workshop 1 – 2018


This topic contains 16 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Kelly Eddington 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    Hello and welcome to Week 3! Please ask me anything about the eyes/nose/mouth painting on this thread.

    You’ll be practicing facial features using the colors of your choice with this one. I made a sort of pinkish paper and used black for the painting, but you could go with any dark color. My white paint was acrylic, but feel free to use gouache, colored pencil, pastels, oil crayon, or anything else that will show up as white on your paper (you might want to test them in some corner of your picture first, and some media might take a couple of coats). I worked on a block pad of paper, so I didn’t need to tape it down, but if your sheet of paper is loose, definitely secure it to some kind of board with tape going all the way around with it or the paper will warp and be hard to paint on.

    Have a good time with this one! And thanks so much for participating. :)



    I am curious if the use of white acrylic paint or guache for highlights makes the painting ineligible for transparent watercolor shows. Thanks! I can’t wait to try the facial features lesson.


    Indeed it does! I only use it when I’m practicing or absolutely have no other choice. But then if I use it, I can’t put whatever painting it is into TWSA’s (Transparent Watercolor Society of America) competition, but all of my other watercolor societies don’t care.


    Lisa vB

    Now I have a pallet question. You use tube watercolors, but you have a pallet with paint in the pans and you work from there. I have different tubes and pans. When I work with the tubes, I use a plastic pallet and squeeze out just the colors I’m working with then. And I clean it out completely between uses (no lid, this is an open pallet thingee). So you have a pallet where you essentially have squeezed some of all your colors in the pans and just replenish those as needed? Is this portable/non-leaking? (I like to take my paints on trips and get some on-site work in–right now I have an ArtBin with all the tubes and the couple of pan sets.)





    To follow up on my question, do you mask the highlights/white areas first on portraits when you want to preserve transparency?


    Quiltnc, yes. As a beginning exercise, I thought masking the highlights might have been a little too much here. But we’ll do it in the 4th project!


    Lisa, I’ve been using this palette for years and love it (it’s around $6):

    It doesn’t have a lid, unfortunately, but I don’t do much plein air painting.

    I was always taught never to clean off my palette. I like to recycle the weirdo leftover colors that I mixed too much of. Everything gets used in one way or another unless I need a big mixing area and want to start from scratch. For videos, I try to remember to clean out the mixing areas so viewers can see what I’m doing, but when I’m just painting on my own, I don’t worry about it at all.

    Brands vary, and I’m not like most painters, but the paint I use (Old Holland) is fine if I just leave it out without covering it between uses. It wakes up easily with a drop or two of water the next day, and I just add more paint to my wells as needed. I know some people who might drape a damp paper towel over their paint and wrap the palette in plastic wrap or foil (or just buy a palette with a lid). Do what works for you!



    Poor Quality and concept of video in week 3(sry i must tell this):
    1) unposible to see your initial first pencil draw on pink “middle tone” paper
    2) video is to fast for workshop without possibility to reduce video speed


    Lisa vB

    And here’s mine at last (one of those weeks, finally got to it today!). My noses need practice. The mouthes went better than I expected. I have a bit more practice with eyes, and this lesson helped me improve.


    Lisa vB

    Oops, I think this will orient correctly. I also screwed up the toning. Use WAY too much color, squeezed out too much red. I had to wait for it to dry and then go at it with a damp sponge to pick up some of the color. Still a bit darker than I would have preferred. Sigh.


    Sorry you feel that way. I was restricted to videos that were 15 minutes in length for this workshop, and I felt like I needed to present more than one example of each feature. If you would like to see what my pencil outlines looked like (sorry they were too light for you), you can find a template for the project in the instructions.



    Asd, the line art is intentionally light because watercolor is a transparent medium. This is why the sketch template was made available and is sufficient for many of us who have successfully attempted to follow the lesson. As for the video speed, it helps to watch the video a few times before beginning your painting. I paused and skipped back and forth with no problem as I painted my way through the lesson. The point of this week’s lesson is to prepare us for the full portrait exercise next week. Focus on what you can do, and not so much on the challenges that keep you from thinking you cannot succeed in your own attempt – especially if you’re a beginner like many of us here are. You are in good company here. Be patient with yourself. Good luck.


    Really good work! I’m very impressed with everyone who is tackling these features. It’s not easy, but practicing is the only way you’ll get better. I think your mouths are especially sensitive. :)


    Thanks, Sai. :)


    Lisa vB

    Thank you! This exercise was really helpful. Facial features are not my strength, but now I have more of an understanding to work with…

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