Pretty Portrait

It’s not very often I do just a headshot or portrait of my characters so I thought I’d experiment doing one.  First start with Little One of course!  She’s a bit shy at times but today, she was happy to stand in.  In addition to portraits, it’s also my first time experimenting with different methods of painting.   Well let’s get started!

Pink Gesso?

You are probably thinking, what??? One of the other stuff I wanted to experiment was mixing a bit of paint to some white gesso to make a colour-tinted background.  I got this idea from someone commenting on a FB Page on art and thought, aha! Here I mixed pink (what else!) to create a pastel pink background, and with a small brayer I rolled on the leftover white gesso (that didn’t get mixed with the pink) for a streaky effect.  I got so excited that I forgot to take a photo of it before pencilling in the outline.  Anyway, here it is!


Colour Scheme with Oil Pastels

The face was painted using Jane Davenport’s skin-coloured paint.  And now the colour action begins!  I like to trace over the pencil sketch with some oil pastels.  Firstly, this helps me get an idea of what colours works best.  I could also use soft pastels too but they tend to be a bit messy at times especially if you decide to change your mind about the colour as they tend to smudge.  With oil pastels, they are less likely to smudge and spread dust.  Secondly, painting over the oil pastels with water-based paint like acrylic gives a very interesting effect since oil resists the water so the pastels show through.   Besides oil pastels, I also used paint to test the colours.  Example is the hair:  red, yellow and green paint, colours that make up brown.  I was interested to see what would happen if a dash of brown paint were dry-brushed over it.


More Colour Experiment

As you can see below, adding a final touch of brown on top gives a wonderful dimension.  The hair is not a flat-out boring brown, and adding tints of green, yellow and red makes the appearance look all the more interesting.  With the eyes I added a coat of green and once dry, glazed them over with some brown mixed with gloss medium for that glassy look.  And there you get that tinge of green undertone with the brown.  The whites of the eyes were merely gessoed on before adding white on top.

And Look How Cute She Looks!

For the dress, I brushed on some green Ecoline ink, followed by outlining and adding dots with some iridescent green Bombay Ink by Dr. Ph. Martins.  The lashes were painted on with the Bombay Ink in sepia.  I love how that green dress compliments the pink background and blends well with the green undertones of the eyes and hair.  In addition, the pink undertones from the tinted gesso also brings some healthy colour to the complexion.  And now!  Doesn’t she look so sweet?


Just a simple portrait of the Little One but this “colour experiment” certainly adds quite a depth to the whole picture! I had so much fun working on this piece, especially to see how the colours would turn out.  I figured that if things went wrong, don’t stress, just paint over it and see what further would happen.  Anyway, it turned out great in the end, and am very happy with the result.  So is Little One!!

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