Watercolour Portraiture Essentials: Painting Skin Tones

Watercolour Mentor
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Hi and Welcome to Watercolour Portraiture Essentials: Painting Skin Tones.

Portrait painting is challenging for both beginners and advanced painters. By the end of this course, you will be able to easily turn any photograph into a realistic portrait. Paint along with me and learn my portrait painting process. By the end of this course, you'll have some amazing portraits to hang on your wall. In this course, we will mainly focus on how you can recreate and match any skin tone by mixing only three to four colors. We will use the gridding technique to create accurate portrait drawings that will form a strong foundation for your painting.

I'm going to simplify the portrait painting process for you by showing you:

·        My two-step process in painting a watercolor portrait - keeping colors fresh and vibrant.

·        How to paint different skin tones using a limited range of colors.

·        How to sketch and paint 8 different portraits, based on 8 reference photos. Bonus sketching videos are also included.

·        How to use the grid technique to transfer a photo of a portrait onto watercolor paper.

·        How to quickly draw faces and portraits from a reference photograph freehand.

·        How to paint subjects in various poses and lighting conditions.

·        How to layer paints to add color and details.

·        How to use essential watercolor techniques in the context of portraiture, such as wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry.

·        How to determine a light source and the correct use of values in painting.

·        What essential paints, paper, brushes, and drawing materials you will need.

This is a feature-packed course, and I have included many demonstrations to provide you with more opportunities to learn how to paint different subjects.

So if you're ready to boost your portraiture skills, join me in this course and let's get painting!

Project Description


Your course project is to draw and paint your own watercolor portrait using the processes and techniques covered in this course! Pick two or more of the portraits shown in this course, and try to paint each portrait demonstrated by following along with the demonstration. Keep in mind the color and tone mixing processes shown in this course to try and match your subject's skin tone. Try to spend as much time as possible on the drawing until you are happy with how it looks. If you're feeling adventurous, how about changing some of the facial features or trying some different color combinations?

If you've completed the portraits featured in this course, find a reference photograph of a person whom you'd like to paint. Consider trying to paint a family member or a loved one as you will be more familiar with their facial details and feel a personal connection towards the subject. Using the techniques and processes shown in this course, transfer the reference photo over to your sketchbook or watercolor paper, and paint with watercolor.


Use any pencil, watercolor paper, paints, and brushes you have available. I recommend:

Mechanical pencil (0.5mm)

100% cotton watercolor paper or sketchbook

Watercolor Paints: Hansa Yellow, Permanent/Perennial Red, Ultramarine Blue

Watercolour Brushes - mop brush and a variety of round and flat brushes.

Getting Started:

Review the course demonstrations first. There are various portrait sketching and painting exercises, as well as four main portraits for you to practice with. You can also download the tracing templates below to transfer over your portrait drawing if you wish.

Sharing Your Work:

Share your final portraits and progress shots with the course by uploading them www.facebook.com/groups/watercolourmentor/. If you have any questions or need more tips, please let me know. I'm happy to help.


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Watercolour Portraiture Essentials: Painting Skin Tones

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