30-in30: Painting a quick watercolor portrait

Portrait of Lee Watercolor in 500 Series Mixed Media Hardbound Art Journal
Portrait of Lee
Watercolor in 500 Series Mixed Media Hardbound Art Journal

People often ask if I paint portraits from life. Yes, I do, and I prefer it actually. But no one wants to sit still for that as many hours as it takes me to paint a portrait.

But as part of my 30 in 30 challenge (30 days of painting for at least an hour a day from life only), I persuaded a visiting friend to sit for me for about 2 hours. We were listening to my fiddler and her banjo-player have some major old-time tunes, and she was itching to dance (she’s an avid and talented dancer). Between the wiggles and the occasional clogging break, I managed to get this quick portrait of her.

By the way, if you’re looking for a journal that will take watercolor, I suggest the Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Hardbound Art Journal. It will take several sloppy washes and a lot of pigment with only a minimal amount of buckling. And the image doesn’t bleed through to the other side too much, which makes it useful for journaling. And the binding is a sort of fake leathery-looking material, so it feels a bit rich and special, which we all need sometimes.

 

You can hear the music here: