How to draft a face with watercolor?

In this video Yves-Marie Salanson (artistic director) shows you how to create a watercolor in three steps by playing with luminosity.

For this creation Mr Salanson uses:
- A Sennelier charcoal
- A travel box of 24 half-pans “La Petite Aquarelle”
- A Raphael brush Lavis Petit Gris 803
- A Raphael brush Valandray pointu Kazan 1636

Step 1

Draw a three-quarter view of a face. Then we define the direction of the natural light. Here, the light will appear on the right part of the face. Then we apply the color only on left part of the face (the shadow areas). This way, the luminosity will remain on the enlightened parts.

Mr Salanson mixes ochre, pink and red shades to obtain a skin shade. With this color we apply a light wash on the darker areas and we let in white color the areas that we want to keep luminous. We let it dry and we will apply details later.

Step 2

In order to define the luminous area, we can enhance the contrast by painting around the face, outside. This technique is often used by watercolor painters. It consists in painting the outside of the subject and not the subject itself in order to reveal the shape of the subject.

Step 3

Once we have applied the colors, we can now intensify some contrasts and draw the details to finalize the watercolor. For this, we use less water in our paint and a smaller brush.