Portrait of a Young Lady

Trying my hand at something new here, I thought I would start learning to paint people. I had my challenges with this one. I had to continually remind myself that I was painting hair, not feathers or fur which is what I am used to painting.

I turned to Emily Olson https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJmcsSNRPYjXoh8EwmhXB7A/videos for advise on mixing paint colors for skin tones. I signed up for her portraiture tutorial and used her reference photo below. She used a cropped version of the photo, but I used the entire photo for my painting. I thought it was such a lovely portrait that I wanted to paint it all instead of cropping any of it away.

Reference photo:

Painted on Arches 9 x 14 inches, 300 lb cold pressed paper, using the following colors: Ultramarine Blue, Indigo, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, Transparent Orange, and Vandyke Brown.

I love Emily’s teaching style and plan to try a few more of her portrait tutorials. Working on skin tones and shadows is both challenging and fun. I think I got a little heavy on the shadows, but practice, practice, practice, and maybe one day, I will conquer skin tones.

Till next time,


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  1. Laura Kate – One of six children, I was raised by a busy mom, who instilled in me a love of fabric. Though I learned to sew and knit at a young age, it was the arrival of my first grandchild that pushed me into action. A long-time knitter, I am now ready to explore all things fiber.
    Laura Kate says:

    This is an excellent likeness. Your young lady has such porcelain skin – it reminds me of classical portraiture.

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