Workshop 1 – 2018


This topic contains 21 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Lisa vB 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    Hello and welcome to Week 4! Please ask me anything about the portrait painting on this thread.

    You’ll be painting a limited-palette portrait using the colors of your choice with this one. Make your outlines a little darker than usual with this one. Make sure you mask off all the highlights with masking fluid before you paint your entire paper with any colors you like (although you might want to use colors that are near each other on a color wheel). 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. Then paint the features and hair using a dark color of your choice. I used two, but super-beginners should probably go with one. This painting is not easy, but painting this way is nowhere near as hard as using full color, believe me!

    Take your time, and show me what you can do! And thanks so much for participating. I’ve loved presenting this workshop. :)


    Kelly thank you for your lessons!! I will miss looking forward to Mondays!!!


    Lisa vB

    Me, too!!! Mondays are exciting…for now. :)



    I know! I’d sit here hitting refresh every so often on Mondays to see if the new project files were up. I found myself being a bit jealous of the highschool kids who had “Mrs. Eddington” as their teacher. I managed to pick up Kelly’s instructional series a couple of weeks ago. They are pretty much exactly like what we have done here, if anyone is curious. They include watercolor paper upon which to do each project with detailed instructions in the front. Each book has12 projects. They include access to a video walk through, done by Kelly, just like in this workshop. Essentially it breaks down to like…12 workshops at a dollar a piece. If you’ve found this workshop helpful and enjoyed Kelly’s instruction method, I HIGHLY recommend picking them up. I’m excited to tackle our final project. Best of luck to all of you, and HAVE FUN drawing the lovely Kayla.



    Wow! I can’t wait to get going on this portrait! I like the idea of layering and being patient with the process. I have a few old photos that I want to try this on


    Thanks so much for participating, Dawn! I’ll miss them, too.


    I’m sure you’ll have a blast with the next two sets of workshops as well! :D


    Thank you for making my day, Sai! I’m so proud of those book/pads, and yes, if anyone wants more of this kind of thing from me, they are the way to go. Putting them together was a daunting undertaking for sure, and as a result I have no memory of spring 2016. :D Teaching in two Illinois public schools was similarly backbreaking, but definitely fulfilling. I love being able to continue teaching via Strathmore while painting full-time. Best of both worlds. <3



    Thank you, Kelly, for breaking difficult tasks into simpler steps. Painting faces can be challenging, but using limited palette made it so much more enjoyable for me. It also helped me see how to apply the layers, but this layering concept still baffles me when it comes to a full range of colors.
    Anyway, I have a question. How do you take photos of your paintings that are perfect rectangles?



    One more question. Where can I get your book?


    Thank you VERY MUCH, Danuta! This was a challenge for me to put together. I really hope people will give it a try because the limited palette approach can give you confidence. Try using it with different faces/subjects and change colors each time. Slowly you’ll learn how each color behaves, and then you can experiment with how they interact with each other! Mastering watercolor can take years/decades, but this is a good way to find your way in.

    My Learning Series pads are available at a pretty big variety of art stores, and they’re on Amazon too. Jerry’s Artarama is my favorite, and if you scroll down you’ll see the books presented separately or bundled with art supplies. They’re a really good deal at around $7 each!



    Hi Kelly,

    Firstly, thank you for the amazing workshop lessons! It’s been a blast to see them and try them.

    I was wondering what’s your template creation process. I’m still very much learning how to paint and draw, and my default is to go ahead and trace photos/images I want to paint. Do you have any tips on how to create a good template?



    Yeah, it’s tough trying to present watercolor lessons to students who are not skilled at drawing. I really think you need to know how to draw before you can paint. When I was in college, they wouldn’t let us take painting classes until we had completed two years of drawing classes. By the time I was a junior, I was soooo eager to paint! But I can only give you one hour of watercolor instruction here, and the templates are a way of bridging that gap for people who haven’t mastered drawing yet.

    When I create the templates, I try to draw the main shapes and also the shadow areas and highlights. Sometimes a nose in shadow will just be this black mass on one side with the hint of a nostril. So I’ll draw the shape of the shadow and outline the nostril. I only draw what I see, not what I know is also there. I’ll outline highlights as their own shapes, too. Basically when I do a preliminary drawing, I try to put down the least amount of information necessary for me to feel like I know where I’m at on a painting. I draw lightly and my lines are all the same. This does not make for an expressive, good-looking drawing. I know how to do those, and these template drawings are not it. But they’re more of a blueprint for the painting.



    Hi Kelly,
    I’m ‘in progress’ with my portrait. I posted the very beginning in the gallery and was quite pleased with it. I hate using ‘should have’ but I’m thinking I should have stuck with those colors instead of darkening it with more glazes. Here’s where I’m up to. Any suggestions on the hair; meaning lightening it, muting the highlights, softer etc. Thanks so much for this amazing workshop!

    Mary Lou


    I commented in the gallery. :)

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