Watercolor Portraits: Man Reading

watercolor man reading
I did several watercolor paintings of this exercise: ” “Use a graphite pencil to draw a few lines … do notice the lighting hitting the face… Take your watercolor and add a few large shapes. Let dry; add other colors on top…play with different color and texture combinations.” I posted three of them in reverse order of when I did them (I did the bottom one first). Watercolor exercise is from the book One Watercolor a Day.

man reading
All of the remaining three portraits on this page are different depictions of my husband. The top one is not – he was a visiting friend. Our friend liked his portrait so much that he asked if he could keep it. So I scanned it into the computer and then presented the watercolor to him. Wonder if he will hang it in his office?

watercolor man learning
This is the first one I did – it has the least amount of color. Plus, I realized the exercise was really a portrait, and I had done the whole figure. What I really want to focus on here, in this bottom watercolor, is the book. Do you see the splatters of red paint along the spine? This book is a chumash (one of the five books of the Torah). It happens to be part of an edition of volumes that was presented to my father z”l as part of being honored by the Highland Park Kollel. That gives it special meaning, and I am happy to see my husband using that volume as part of his weekly learning.

I think I will do more watercolor portraits. By the way, if you come visit on a Sunday or weekday and start to read a book or your laptop, I might take out my paints, pencils and watercolor paper and start to paint you. You have been warned.

9 thoughts on “Watercolor Portraits: Man Reading

  • The first watercolors, in reverse order, really bring the steps to the forefront. I like the first one, at the top of the post, and like how complex it looks.

    The bottom watercolor is beautiful, and the red splatters really add to the image, making my eyes focus on them within the scheme of the whole. I like the reader, like the blue tones, which evoke a soothing feeling in me. Beautiful work, Leora.

    LOL-I might knock on your door one of these months.

    • Lorri, you are certainly welcome to visit. I did another last night. First one son was sitting in the spot – when the first layer dried, I had another sitting there. I painted anyway, so it looks like neither of them. But I did get a painterly look! I suppose I will keep going with portraits, because it’s clearly a motivating subject for me.

      • How nice, on the “painterly look”. I am sure it is beautiful. That always feels steps closer to being accomplished, when we feel motivated.

  • Portraits are an area I struggle. I think it’s the perfectionist thing in me. What I love about yours is the imperfectness of them. They show the essence and beauty of the person but not in a perfect way. I hope I’ve convey that right. 🙂

    • Susan, yes, I know exactly what you mean. Years ago my mother told me if someone asks about a portrait drawing: “who is it?” one can always respond: “it’s a person.”

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