How I Paint in Watercolor | Female Face Study

how I paint

One of the questions I get asked most is how to draw/paint eyes, noses, and/or lips.  Everyone wants to know how to make their drawings look more human.  How do you make your eyes look better, or face more dimensional?  I know that  artists can sometimes make it look so easy, as if there was a secret way of doing it without actual work.   It only looks easy because it took a lot of practice and effort first. 
THAT'S the secret!  Watch the video above and I'll show you my process step by step.  I'll tell you how I do it and the colors I use.   I can give you some tips also, the kinds of things I tell anyone who asks how to make this or that better.  Its the reason I do these kinds posts, to dispel the myth that its easy, or that anyone can't be an artist.

I want you to take a look at my progress pics below to get a slow and studious look at what I've done.  I did these without reference.  It doesn't make me a better artist.  If anything it should tell you just how much how reference I've looked over the years.  And I'm by no means done looking, that never ends.  More on that later, first see what I've laid out below.

photos of process

I had to split the video it into two parts, because 1 hour just seemed too long, and I tend to have limited space on my phone where I do a lot of my editing.  I also have voiced over my process, but if you'd rather not listen to the video audio, I have supplied captions!  So be sure and click that option to see those instead.  In Part Two I'll be detailing the eyes, lips, and hair, and putting on finishing touches! Click here to see it!  As always, leave me a comment below if you want to see some specific in detail!

Back to what I was saying about secrets and artmaking,  working on your craft daily is the best secret there is.  And if you want to get better at doing a nose or mouth or ear better, then look at tons of reference.  Fill up sketchbooks (plural!) of portraits of your friends and family and anyone willing to sit for you.  When you can't find anyone, then use magazines and the internet for a while.  This is not about selling or making money off others.  This is academic.  What you do in your studies is for your eyes only, and is purely for learning to get better.  One of the first things you may do in art school is copy a master, line for line, stroke for stroke.   It's to teach you how to feel what its like to paint like them, how the brush feels, and how the paint is mixed, and where to put it.  We begin our lives by mimicking, and we learn later how to walk on our own.


A young girl came up to me once at a Comic Con and asked me these very questions, and I must've rambled on and on about how important it was to use reference and practice everyday.  I don't remember anyone telling me these things when I was young. I had encouragement, but I didn't know what I should be doing.  It's ok not to know.  But if you want to find out, then by all means, ASK!

What are your artistic challenges?  What's stopping you from creating?  Where can I help?

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About the Artist

 I would call myself a Jack of all Trades, but mostly because I'm interested in many areas of art if not all!  I graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from the University of North Texas with a focus on Watercolor.   I always had dreams of creative writing, and in 5th grade I wasn't too bad!  Art clearly won out for my attention, but writing will always have a place in my heart!

What better way to write, I say,  than to share a blog, and practice my second love while talking about my first! With that said, I hope you all enjoy my ramblings and please hit me up with any questions.  :D  Contact me!

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Jonathan (jex_mix) (Saturday, 21 May 2016 09:18)

    This was enjoyable to watch. Thanks for sharing the video of your art and it's process.

  • #2

    Johnny (Saturday, 21 May 2016 14:53)

    Thanks so much Jonathan! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and hopefully found it useful! :D