This painting tutorial for watercolor portraits can make you an artist today!

Many people think they can't paint watercolor portraits. A great big thank you goes out to Kat from Seattle for letting me use this wonderful and easy tutorial she came up with. It's so easy to follow and the results are absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing this great idea Kat!!!

Watercolor Portrait Painting Instructions

1. Take a photo you have lying around. This can be one of the thousands you have lying around your computer of all your friends from years and years back, or any other picture you want.

2. I use photoshop for this step, it's probably possible to do it in other programs, but I have to admit, I'm not sure how. Usually they're all generally like this though.

2a. Open your image.2b. Desaturate your image. (In Photoshop, this is done by clicking Image > Adjustments > Desaturate) This makes your image black and white.2c. Adjust the brightness and contrast. (Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast) You want the Contrast at 100% and then you can adjust the Brightness to whatever you think looks best.

You should end up with something like this;

3. Print out your image.

4. Place your image on a lightbox (you can use a window if you don't have a lightbox :]) and tape it down, along with a piece of watercolor paper on top of it. Like so:

5. Take out your masking fluid! I use Winsor & Newton Brand.

6. Using a old not so nice brush (this stuff will NEVER come off, no matter how hard you try), paint the masking fluid onto the watercolor paper, covering all of the area that is white in the image below.

7. After you have painted everything you want to paint that will remain white throughout the process, go take a walk. Get a coffee. Make a cake. It takes a while for the masking fluid to dry, and you want to make sure it is COMPLETELY dry before you continue.

8. Making sure the masking fluid is dry, (it will be a little tacky, just as long as it isn't goopy or wet) tape your watercolor paper onto a flat surface. Tape down all the edges and make sure your paper is flat - this will help with wrinkling after you apply the paint.

9. PAINT! Go crazy, I never have a plan before going into these things; I just do whatever I feel like.

10. Once you've finished your painting, go take another walk. Sometimes it takes a while for these things to dry and you, once again, need the paint to be COMPLETELY DRY before you continue onto the next step.

11. THIS STEP IS THE MOST FUN. Making sure your paint is completely dry, take an eraser and GENTLY rub at the edge of one of the parts of the masking fluid. It should begin to come away from the paper. Once it does, grab it with your fingers and pull! Continue this until all of the masking fluid is removed.

12. Remove your tape and there you have it! A masterpiece! Watercolor portraits made easy!!

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