Monday, February 27, 2023

Portrait of a Queen in Watercolor

Hello everyone, Kate here with you today!. For me, the New Year always brings the excitement of making new goals and the NOT so exciting evaluation of the previous year's goals. After many years of struggling to follow through, not wanting to fail or ruin a piece and making excuses that it was ""Too hard," I decided that the change needed to start with my attitude. I started listening to podcasts (Creative Pep Talk) and watching YouTube videos by artists on goal setting and planning. I found some helpful information on the process of experimenting to find my niche. I love all kinds of creating and find interest in a vast variety of subjects. But how do I find the one that makes me unique? 

Creating personal projects seemed to be the answer. A short-term project would help me decide whether I enjoyed doing the process day in and day out. If I can't wait to be done with the piece or am suffering boredom, then obviously I can cross that off the list. Thus, I have made the goal to complete 2 personal projects this year, my first being a monthly portrait of a Queen, that I will be posting to Instagram. I am planning on using different medias and techniques to challenge and broaden my skills.

I am on my second queen, The Queen of Hearts, and I am sharing the process that I have gone through to create her. Honestly, this is the most fun I have had while painting as of late. I have a goal and direction so that makes the planning and experimentation all the more enjoyable. The challenge for this portrait is to create it, in its entirety, using stencils. 

My first sketch (S648) (L620)

Second Sketch (S648) (L757)

Third Sketch (S651) (S224)

The fourth sketch, I used the stencil (L651) as a guide but decided to change the facial features and the head shape.


I continued the neck ruffle around the entire neckline.

I added earrings (L840), a crown (L319) and a background (L528).

One of the things I learned in the past but never did, was making thumbnails to try out different color palettes. While this takes extra time, I am LOVING the process. 

I transferred my image, using graphite paper and pencil. I like this process because I can reuse the sketch and transfer it as many times as needed.

I started by laying down making fluid over the hairnet. Using watercolor, I layered my colors, light to dark. Yes, I chose the bluish palette because those are the colors I am drawn too. Who says a Queen of Hearts has to be red? 

My first completed painting showed me that I wasn't happy with the background colors. Overall, there was too much blue, which made the crown recede into the background. So, I gave it another go with a different color palette.

For this painting, I followed the same steps as above, working with different colors. I am still unsure about the background color, but I think she looks more like the Queen of Hearts that I had envisioned.

I am looking forward to completing the final portrait later on this month. Who knows how many more practice runs I will make before I find the right background. Regardless, the process has been fun and I look forward to growing my skills.

Until Next time,

1 comment:

  1. So interesting to see your process - it turned out beautiful!


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