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How to Paint a Black and White Portrait

Kelly Eddington Watercolors Follow
  • Video description
  • 4 years ago
This is an old-school way to work: black and white on toned or colored paper. It's often called a wash drawing, and you can explore a range of values, and, in this case, textures.

You’ll need black watercolor OR some other dark color like brown, purple, green, or blue, along with an opaque white paint (I used acrylic paint). I think beginners or advanced-beginners will learn a lot from this project.

This is a portrait of Daniel Day-Lewis, and I had a great time painting him.
Here's a tighter version of this project with Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul:

Is your reference photo way too light for something like this? Try painting it this way:

Learn about the color wheel here:

"Daniel Day-Lewis" is available as a print.

Please support me on Patreon!

Contact me about a commission!

All prints:

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Colors used in background: cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light, cadmium yellow medium, alizarine crimson, all by Old Holland. Black paint by Prang. White acrylic paint by Liquitex.

Paper: 9"x12" 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper by The Langton (paper is attached to the rest of the block/pad, so no need for tape).

Brushes: Yorkminster #5 round, Royal Loew-Cornell #6 round (destroyed), #1 American Painter 4000 round.

Preliminary drawing: 4H Derwent Graphic pencil.
Palette: Eldajon from Jerry's Artarama

Nail polish: Nicole by O.P.I. in Boys ‘n’ Berry. :)

Music: "Groove Grove" and "Pale Rider" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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