View Full Version : First attempt at a watercolor portrait
08-02-2003, 03:19 AM
It's rather intimidating to show one's greenhorn attempts to
veterans but I guess if one wants to improve and hopefully get
some advice, here goes. This is my first ever watercolor attempt
at a portrait. I've only ever sketched a bit with graphite/charcoal.
Paper - 140lb Arches Cold Pressed 12"x16".
Paints - Poster Color made by Japanese companies Pentel / Sakura. (I have no idea what the difference is between watercolors and poster colors. They seem to work the same way to me.)
Time taken - I guess about 6-7 hours in all, didn't actually keep track.
Any comments/advice appreciated since I'm completely new
messing with colors. I have to sheepishly admit tho, that all the
talk in books about hue, saturation, values, cool, warm colors etc
etc etc confound me completely, just too complicated &
confusing. I painted only what I saw & what felt right to me. It
was hard enough without trying to remember the zillion & ten
things the books say to do. As it is, I was only brave enough to
mess with colors after someone said "You should color your
world, or it will forever be in black in white!"
Thanks for taking time to read
jackie @ a newbie now with one toe in colors
08-02-2003, 03:25 AM
Beautiful portrait............I have no idea what poster colour is, but the more experienced artists will be along soon to advise you:)
08-02-2003, 03:40 AM
Great pic - poster colours? I have heard of poster paint - which is basically a very thick water based paint like the sort used in primary school - not normally associated with such good work
08-02-2003, 03:57 AM
Thanks laudesan & Ceiliog for looking & replying ^_^
poster colors - yes, kids use them in school. I just got some at
the stationary store and started messing with them. They come
in these little round containers which is great cause you only
use as much as you need & put the lid back on. Not to mention
they're cheap in comparison to the professional paints. But of
course they don't have much of a color range so there's a fair
amount of mixing to do to get the colors you want. Other than
that, I know diddley squat about paints...or the consequences
of using poster color....
08-02-2003, 03:58 AM
for a first w/c this is excellent , lets have more
08-02-2003, 04:13 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap: You did excellent job on your first wc. Welcome to WC !
08-02-2003, 04:37 AM
Welcome to the wacky, wonderful world of watercolor!
Your work is excellent. You are way too good an artist to waste time with poster paints. Your work will not last. I suggest that you purchase 6 or 8 artist quality watercolors such as Winsor & Newton, or Daniel Smith, or Da Vinci. Such talent deserves good tools. A couple of good watercolor brushes are a good idea, too. The Arches paper is excellent.
Check out www.handprint.com for information about colors, lightfastness of paint, the difference between student grade and artist quality paints, etc. It is well worth your while.
Keep painting and posting!!:)
08-02-2003, 04:53 AM
Wow, everyone's very encouraging, sure makes a beginner
feel a little more confident. :)
Thanks to artmom lyn for the tips, I checked out the site you
mentioned. I've seen Windsor & Newton, or Daler-Rowney paints
in town. A friend sent the Arches from the US since I haven't been
able to get them locally.
ok, now off to invest in some good paints...& hopefully produce
more decent work in the near future!
08-02-2003, 04:59 AM
Hi! Welcome to WC!... glad to find a new member from Singapore! Currently there're only 2 or 3 here... the more the merrier!
I agree. You're too good to waste time with poster paints. Also, they are opaque and does not has the transparent look of traditional watercolour paintings but from what I can see, your painting does looked transparent.... perhaps you're also using the watercolour paint of Pentel or Sakura? Both brands are student grade... I suggest you switch to better quality paint.
I know a couple of art stores in Singapore... Have you ever been to Bras Basah Complex? There's a good art store called Art Friend which has lots of stuff for you to browse....
another one is Straits Commercial Art which is just opposite the complex... it is smaller but they carry good quality artist materials as well.
For watercolour paints,
Art Friend carries Daley Rowney (both Georgian (Student) and Artist which I currently use) and Winsor Newton (both Cotman - student grade and Artist);
Straits Commercial Art has Van Gogh (student), Rembrant (Artist) etc.
By the way, where did you get your Arches from? and how much is it? I could only find Arches at Straits for about S$9.00.
[edited: oh... i see you got yours from US... we're posting on the same time]
08-02-2003, 05:02 AM
Jackie, I just noticed you are from Singapore. We have a couple of members from there. MChew and Ngkk--they can probably help you with art supply stores. Both are wonderful artists, and now we have you, to! Must be something in the air--or probably the work ethic.:)
Edit: LOL, speak of the :evil: Marvin and I were cross-posting!!!
08-02-2003, 05:17 AM
Welcome to the Watercolor Forum. Your portrait is lovely. I especially like the way you did the hair and the skin tones.
I believe poster paints are similar to what we call tempera here in the States. They are opague as Marvin mentioned and you can do very detailed work with them, but you lose the wonderful transparency of true watercolors. Hope you'll try them out and see the difference for yourself.
You definitely have a lot of talent if this is your first portrait in a new medium. Don't worry about the amount of time it takes you. Some people work very quickly and finish a painting in minutes, others work a little at a time and may take a week to be done. In the end, the only thing that matters is if they are happy with their paintings.
08-02-2003, 05:20 AM
Hey Marvin, glad to meet someone local.
I've been to Art Friend but not Straits, where exactly is it?
Across Bras Basah Complex is the Raffles Hotel, if me remembers
Thanks for the info on the paints, altho now I'm feeling even
more intimidated, which should I use? What would you guys
recommend? They all sound very good & very professional.
The poster colors don't say if they're opague or watercolor.
They come in these glass cylinder thingies.
The Arches paper I've got at the moment is from the US.
It's on the shopping list of whoever's traveling there.
It's about USD60 for a block pad of 20 sheets 12' x 16 but
a friend managed to get them at USD45 tho. Reason I got
the block is because I have no idea how to stretch the paper.
Yeah, total dutz over here. Anyway, I've been trying to get
the Arches online but for some reason, most art supply sites
I've come across don't seem to ship international. :(
08-02-2003, 05:23 AM
Cheap Joes and Dick blicks do if that helps. I checked it out as i wanted to get some shipped to Aussie. Fookie was saying she gets kilamanjaro, I think it is called and it is the same as Arches bright white......don't remember where she gets it from tho' must find out 'cause I want to try it........
Don't be intimidated lol, I was too but these fabulous people on W.C. are just marvelous and will do anything to help you :)
O.K. these guys have it.........
and they ship overseas, and if I remember rightly Fookie says kilamanjaro is as good as Arches, and cheaper.......
08-02-2003, 05:27 AM
I think you must have bought the poster colour from Popular Book Store... yes, I have those too and they are opaque.
Straits Commercial Art is located at North Bridge Centre, just opposite Bras Basah Complex.... and they do sell Arches in blocks and sheets...
I e-mailed Dick Blick about international shipping to singapore and they replied that they do ship to Singapore but I did not order anything as I figured the shipping cost would be quite high.... so I shelved the idea.... until I strike lottery perhaps... lol
08-02-2003, 05:50 AM
Welcome to the watercolour forum, Jackie.
Your portrait is wonderful - you have real talent. That makes 3 in Singapore with exceptional talent - must be the climate :D
Artists watercolours will be a little different to handle, they aren't as opaque as your poster colours and so you have to plan more and paint from light to dark.
Look forward to seeing more of your paintings.
08-02-2003, 08:10 AM
Welcome to WC. Beautiful work. I hope we will see more of your talent posted here.
08-02-2003, 08:17 AM
Hi Jackie and WELCOME!!!!! So glad you have already met "our" Marvin.
re your portrait - I am speachless!!! It's gorgeous!!!
08-02-2003, 08:28 AM
Welcome Jackie! I'll join the rest and say your painting is wonderful (hard to believe it's your first work in colour!)
Please do invest in some artists quality materials, Artmom Lyn pointed you in the right direction for the best advice, alot of us use a mixture of brands of paint depending on the ratings of each colour as seen on the handprint charts. I use Daler Rowney and Winsor and Newton artists quality.
Doug, I think we have more than 3 Singapore based talents? Sorry my brain is failing today, I might be wrong :o
08-02-2003, 08:52 AM
Ok, let's see, I'm looking at all the threads.....here's a first watercolor portrait....ok, let's see it.......
Jackie, this is splendid. I love the detail and the expression you've captured. You definitely need good paints.
Keep posting your work here, I'll look forward to seeing more of it!
ooooohhhhhoooo, wait'll Fookie sees this....
08-02-2003, 09:54 AM
Your portrait is gorgeous :clap: :clap: :clap: Definitely by yourself some great paints. Great work demands great paints! :)
Little Old Lady
08-02-2003, 10:06 AM
Wonderful portrait. Even more amazing that you did it with poster paints. Don't worry about the technical stuff. You are doing great with your talent and instinct. You and Marvin should certainly get together!
08-02-2003, 10:21 AM
Welcome and what a beautiful portrait. Also, your subject is very striking and has a very unique look about him. Who is he?
Well done, and I can just imagine what you will do with better paints! Keep posting!
08-02-2003, 10:31 AM
Wow Jackie.....this is great!! Glad to have you here! If you can do this with poster paints....I would like to see what you can do with artist grade watercolor paints!! What great talents in Singapore...Marvin is one of my favorite artists! I'm looking forward to seeing more from you soon...so please keep on painting! :) :clap: :clap:
08-02-2003, 01:05 PM
Yes, excellent work. You have created in a cheap acrylic.
You have innate skill and ability to see form, which is mighty rare. Your portrait is lovely. You have a few hard lines, which will cease to be as you continue in your journey after purchase of good watercolors. Windsor & Newton highly rated--get 'um. Continue on w/your instincts. As you progress and feel the need to learn more about the creation of art, i.e., chroma, values, you will, and it will make sense.
Welcome to WC! community, and Watercolor forum. Nice to have you.
Check also the threads in Color Theory Forum, as you grow in watercolor medium.
08-02-2003, 06:43 PM
Wonderful portrait!!! The hair and the jacket fabric texture, the expression are beautifully done. I really like it.:clap: :clap: :clap:
08-02-2003, 07:23 PM
Hi Jacki, Welcome to the Watercolor Forum! Great job on your painting....
08-02-2003, 07:54 PM
08-02-2003, 08:00 PM
I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for welcoming me
here. I will definitely get some good paints and post more,
altho you might have to wait a while as I flounder with them :)
This guy I attempted to paint is an actor from Japan. Actually
doing this portrait was an impulse thing. My friend had sent me
the Arches so I wanted to try it out. Yes, it was also my first
time with the Arches! Anyway, I just grabbed a magazine that
happen to have his picture & started. To be honest, I had
absolutely no idea what I was doing. I just wanted to play with
colors & see what the effect was on the Arches. I learnt a lot,
even if it was just with poster colors.
Your paintings are jaw-dropping inspiring! I feel very humbled.
Wow. Anyway, you have inspired me. If all goes well, the next
time I post, I shall attempt one of those shophouse landscapes.
Never done a building before so that'll be a first too.
Great meeting all of you!
08-02-2003, 08:43 PM
Welcome to WC You are incredibly talented! I can't believe this is your first attempt at a portrait. Please show us more of your work. :)
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