Watercolor portrait

Watercolor portrait

I painted this portrait of my very close friend (for whom I created the nature baby shower invites) for her birthday. The reference I used is actually a profile photo I loved (so beware facebook friends! I might swipe your photos and paint them…)! I felt it was begging to be drawn and painted… I wonder if other portrait artists feel that way. I’m happy to have painted this; whenever I paint I always think to myself “oh yeah, this is what I should be doing”, but then life and other creative-but-more- “purposeful” endeavors seem to get in the way. I do think that my other creative pursuits are helping me figure out subject matter and my own personal style, which is useful. I certainly wish I could “loosen up” my technique. I’ve been struggling with this since high school, but I do think if I just painted more I could get it down. I’m always so tight and precise in my work, and I’m really curious about exploring how to express something with the least amount of lines possible, and revealing brushstrokes and medium. For example, in this painting I decided to make the peacock feather earrings have dripped paint because I want to emphasize the medium—the paint. My sketches are usually much looser than my finished paintings and drawings, but my finished work is always much more accurate, so I suppose my challenge is to keep the liveliness of my sketching while maintaining the level of accuracy I am going for… or perhaps I can let go of some of that accuracy? Just because I can make something accurate, does that mean I should? Is that dog-like obedience I have to render my source the thing that is keeping me from having the loose style I want to explore? I’m torn, because I know I can definitely still improve my accuracy, and I know I want to explore that as well, but I think it may take me in the opposite direction of where I ultimately want to be. An exercise in accuracy feels a little outmoded in a world full of camera phones; we have immediate access to pixel perfect accuracy. But painting is still something that someone has to do by hand, even with all the filters out there…

original study sketch

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5 Responses to Watercolor portrait

  1. Tiera says:

    Absolutely beautiful! I love the colors :)

  2. Julia says:

    WOW! I’m in love with this portrait. I wish I would have a friend who would paint portraits of me like this. It is stunning. The colors, the angle and the earrings!

  3. Nidhi says:

    This is so beautiful! I wish I could paint like that.

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Welcome to Visual Vocabularie! My name is Jesyka, and I am a designer, artist, mom to Laelia and Luca, wife to software engineer and UX designer Tyler, coffee lover, and all around enthused person. This is my blog; here I share my personal projects, whether it's a furniture makeover, a new painting, a birthday party, an invitation I designed, or a favorite outfit for my little. You’ll also catch a glimpse into our family life in Los Angeles.

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You are free to pin to pinterest, or post my photos on your blog, but please give proper credit to my full name Jesyka D’Itri Marés (I know, I know, it's not the easiest name!), and you link back either the home page of this website, or the permalink of the original post (although, I'm sure your followers will thank you for the permalink!). I would LOVE to know if you enjoy my work enough to share it, so please don’t be shy and drop me an email!