Portraits and the Importance of References

I decided to paint a sketch I had of this girl I did some months ago and since I also was interested in these galaxy paintings I saw floating around on social media (no pun intended), I blended both! I used my face as a semi-reference for the side profile and a photo off the internet for her hair.

I really loved how the galaxy came out. The most mesmerizing part about watercolours for me is when colours mingle together and galaxy paintings definitely embody that! Yes, it’s tricky depending on the colours used, but if you have always wanted to try it, definitely do!

Since I’m still trying to get the hang of skin tones, this one was pretty tricky since it was bigger than my previous portrait attempts and mixing sufficient pigments is always my downfall. I used my skin-tone as the reference and pretty happy with the outcome. I should have written down the palette I used for future reference for my self portrait on my to-do list (yikes!)

Eyelashes at this angle were also tricky, so I just decided she’d be content without them. Haha! I was also pretty excited to try my new set of metallic paints to paint her necklace, but I wasn’t too impressed by the intensity of the pigments in the end.

The more I do this though, the more I keep seeing the list of things in my head that I should see as critical to a good portrait, so far they are: proportion, perspective, light and shadow and balance. Considering that I’ve always been deathly afraid of even attempting them in the past, I’d say good progress has been made so far!

galaxy girl
Galaxy Girl; Arches Hot Press Paper 9″ x 12″

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