“Watercolor Portraits: A Different Approach” with Molly Murrah

In this 2-day workshop, we will focus on painting our subjects using a different approach combining transparent and more opaque pigments to help you create vibrant, engaging portraits.
Elements of the workshop...
• Choosing a good portrait/reference image; creating an engaging composition
• An explanation of Molly’s painting process
• Transferring your image to paper
• Understanding the importance of painting values and shapes
• Using “underpaintings” (or not) and building layers
• Finishing your paintings with bright accents that bring them to life.
I will provide one or two reference images to paint in quarter sheet size (11 x 15).
There are some very fine artists who won’t even attempt painting portraits. We’ll remove the anxiety and have nothing but fun instead!

Below are the pigments I have in my main palette. If you already have a palette of colors, however, please use what you have. I recommend warm and cool versions of the three primaries plus a few of the secondaries, then filling in with your other favorites. Holbein pigments are what I use for the more opaque applications, and the ones shown
below in BOLD are HIGHLY recommended for this workshop:

Daniel Smith pigments:
Buff Titanium (Daniel Smith)
Burnt Sienna Light (Daniel Smith)
Cadmium Orange
Cobalt Teal
Ultramarine Blue
Phthalo Blue (RS)

Cheap Joe’s special pigment:
Janet’s Violet Rose

HOLBEIN pigments:
Jaune Brilliant #1
Jaune Brilliant #2

Cadmium Yellow Deep
Yellow Ochre
Cadmium Red Light
Verditer Blue

Cerulean Blue
Horizon Blue
Peacock Blue
Sap Green
Hooker’s Green
Cobalt Green
Compose Green
Titanium White
Neutral Tint

To save on costs, most of these pigments can be found in small 5ml tubes.
I normally use a large palette with fairly large paint wells and separate mixing areas. Some of the smaller folding palettes are good if they have separate mixing areas but they don’t hold a lot of paint. I keep my paints gooey, as that is what is needed for the more opaque pigment applications.
Arches 140# Cold Press paper (22” x 30” sheet size, then tear to desired size). Two sheets will be more than enough.
(Good paper is VERY important, but there are other good brands, if you have a preference.)
Brushes that are a mix of synthetic and natural bristles are good and not as expensive as all natural brushes. For this more opaque style of painting, you will mostly use FLATS, but bring a few rounds, just in case.
2” Flat wash brush
1”, 1/2”, and 1/4” Flats
#12 (or #14) and #8 Rounds
#4 Rigger (script brush)
Scrubber Brushes (if you have them)
Sturdy brush holder
3/4” white artists tape or masking tape
#2B pencil (I use a mechanical pencil)
Small pencil sharpener if you use a regular pencil
Kneaded eraser
Artist’s gray scale/value finder (I will supply a paper version in my handouts)
Water container(s)
Roll of absorbent paper towels
Adjustable spray bottle or atomizer
12” or 18” ruler
1/2” thick gator board cut to at least 12” x 16” to hold quarter sheet paper
(just something sturdy to paint on and tape your paper to. I stretch my watercolor paper on gator board.)


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