Free step by step watercolor demonstrtions, Free lessons from Yong Chen and Mary Churchill

Demonstration: Color-Study For a Watercolor Home Portrait

Because you are a serious artist, before starting a final portrait painting, you do a value-study drawing and a color-study. Here is an example of how I do a color-study. This compressed 4-minute video presentation, shows the steps of my color experiment and my approach to pursue the harmony of the colors. This demonstration was completed in one session.

Why do a Color-Study?

Before I do my final painting, I like to do a color study on a smaller piece of watercolor paper. This helps me experiment and plan the colors for the final painting. In this demonstration, I used a 15 x 11 inch piece of watercolor paper.

First I will do a simple drawing then start painting. The color-study (color experiment) is extremely helpful when I need to combine many reference materials from different locations for a home portrait.

It is a trial and play exercise. I sometimes push the colors to the limit. In this process, I will not go into too many details but I will pay complete attention to the overall color composition and capture the essence of the home. You may say, it's like a practice session before a big game!

Colors have temperatures and values (cold and hot, dark and light). Like an orchestra with many instruments, I play with colors; dark and light, shapes and depth. I pursue harmony and the appropriate mood for the painting. It is both a fun and joyous creative experience.

The color-study process usually eliminates a lot of guesswork when I start my final painting.

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