Thursday, 1 September 2011

Birthday girl

S is 17 today, and I just had to do a portrait of her. I brought out the watercolours and my large sketchbook while she was doing her homework.

working on birthday girl
I didn't use the watercolour pencils at all this time around - instead I started with a very light pencil sketch.

working on birthday girl
Working in comparative darkness, but the dramatic lighting was interesting.

birthday girl
The scan turned out a bit more blueish than the original, and also more grainy looking. This kind of pure watercolour is almost too pretty.
Watercolour in A4 watercolour moleskine. I used yellow ochre, raw sienna, burnt umber, payne's grey and ultramarine blue, with tiny touches of cadmium medium red on the skin.


  1. I love the photo
    Scanners have problems with transparent tones, bu your work is fantastic Ea, congrats to you and happy B day to your girl :-)

  2. Definitely not too pretty - wonderfully skilled watercolour...
    Lovely new haircut for S - or if not new, then well turned out! Happy birthday to her... great to have details of the colours used -I always want to know - watercolour is so tricky and people don't usually itemise the colours! Paynes grey is such a useful colour, isn't it? x

  3. @Claudio - thank you. Yes, watercolour is really difficult to scan, and my cheap scanner is doing a reasonable job of it, all things considered :)

    @Ruth - thank you, S was very pleased by your compliment on her short hair, and the birthday greetings as well. I'm using a minimal palette - it's the small box I show on Flickr and has only 9 pans of which I regularly use the 7. My Payne's grey is from Schminke and very blue, and I love mixing with it - very useful indeed. x