My first few forays into watercolor portraits

It’s been close to three months since I started painting with watercolor and my interest only continues to grow. Very recently, I started doing portraits, something I avoided like the plague because I didn’t want to botch people’s faces (and again, my dislike for detailed work as in my calligraphy experience), but what do you know, I actually started enjoying it.

Here’s my first ever, based on a photo I saw off Tumblr. (I’d include credits if I knew the source, sorry!)

Finally attempted to do a watercolor portrait. He's probably from Portland.

A post shared by Jason D. (@bluearden) on

And then another one based on a hauntingly beautiful photograph I saw on the National Geographic Instagram account:

A couple of friends have begun to ask me for commissions but I’m still afraid to accept them because personally, I feel like the resemblance is still a little off (although I’ve received positive feedback about them and friends say I’m being too hard on myself), though I do think I managed to meet my objective, which was to capture the expression.

So now, yes, I do enjoy doing portraits, which is a surprise, most especially to myself. The best part is when I start to apply the shadows and darker tones—it’s like putting makeup on someone, which I think is a frustration of mine, haha!

The biggest help had been the watercolor workshop which I attended at the College of Fine Arts in UP Diliman last month and which I’ll blog about later. It has thought me to be patient, focused, and disciplined.

This is the first artwork I produced after the workshop; my style has clearly evolved compared to my earlier projects.

Admittedly, I’m still finding my own style as I find myself mimicking other artists, hence I’m forcing myself to paint based on photographs versus other artworks.


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