Introduction: Watercolor Rainbow Portrait

Learn to create an AMAZING colorful watercolor of your favorite celebrity in just a few steps!! You can use any celebrity you want, but today I'm using actor Al Pacino in his movie Scarface. All you need is a few supplies, and you don't need a lot of experience in portraiture or watercolor. Good Luck :) and tell me how yours came out!

Step 1: Materials

To make this fun project, you need a few supplies:

  1. Watercolors
  2. A watercolor brush
  3. Water
  4. Heavy cardstock paper, or watercolor paper
  5. A pencil
  6. A computer for your reference photo

Step 2: Picking Your Celebrity to Draw

Sketching from a reference photo can be extremely hard, and without a good sketch the whole painting might not look right. I found this website, (just copy and paste the link in your browser), that has step-by-step tutorials on how to sketch out the celebrity you want. They have tutorials of Nicole Kidman, Tupac, Robert De Niro, Miley Cyrus, Angelina Jolie, and SO MUCH MORE! Have fun picking which celebrity you want. If you are an experienced artist, feel free to sketch without a tutorial.

Step 3: Sketching the Celebrity

After you picked, you will be directed to a new page. On top of the image, you will see little boxes. Take your watercolor paper/oak tag and sketch on it. Start from the first box, sketch it, go to the next box, sketch that, and keep on going through the tutorial until your done.

Step 4: Finishing Your Sketch

After you have done each step, look at your portrait and decide if there is anything to fix. Take out your watercolors for the next step!

Step 5: Picking Colors

The easiest way to do this project is to pick two main colors, and use the rest of the rainbow as a background. After picking your two colors, decide which one is darker (i.e. purple is darker than blue). The darker will be your shadows, the lighter your highlights. How do you know which are highlights and which are shadows? Look at some makeup contour charts to get an idea (included above). The highlights and shadows are not the most important part of the painting, and it is ok if you mess up. I'm going to use orange as my dark color and yellow as my light. (THESE TWO COLORS ARE ONLY FOR THE FACE.)

Step 6: Painting the Face

Using your light and dark paints, start painting the face. Be sure to use your darker color around the nose, under the eyes, and to contour the face. Don't forget to paint the eye and the lips!

Step 7: The Hair and the Background

Normally, you would finish the person before starting the background, but not for this project. First, analyze the hair color in the reference photo. Let's say the hair is brown. Don't paint using just brown, add some yellow or black to make it look more realistic! Al Pacino has black hair, so I added a hint of purple to make it more interesting and creative. Fill in the hair however you like!!

For the background, you can do absolutely whatever you want! I made mine kind of tie-dye, to make it colorful. I used different colors of the rainbow to make it pop. This is the most fun part, so go crazy with colors!

Step 8: The Clothing

You don't necessarily have to paint the clothing the exact color as the reference, but you can. I painted the suit a dull gray so it wouldn't take too much attention away from the background. If your background is colorful, try not to do too much color for the clothing.

Step 9: Final Touch-ups

You're done!!! Make sure that the top corners are painted, and check to see if you missed any spots. Congratulations on finishing!! Tell me how it came out!

Colors of the Rainbow Contest

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Colors of the Rainbow Contest