Watercolor Portraits: Combining Realism and the Abstract

Melissa Lee, allow yourself to fail before you succeed

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12 Videos (34m)
    • Introduction

    • Gathering Materials

    • Setting Up Your Workspace

    • Using References

    • Stretching Your Paper

    • Watercolor Techniques: Flat and Graded Washes

    • Watercolor Techniques: Crisp Edges, Lifting, and Paper Types

    • Watercolor Techniques: Texturing with Salt, Plastic Wrap, and Rubbing Alcohol

    • Sketching Your Portrait

    • Painting The Face

    • Painting the Abstract Elements

    • Final Thoughts

21 students are watching this class

About This Class

Discover how artist and illustrator, Melissa Lee Shaw, combines realism and abstract textures to infuse her watercolor portraits with a sense of wonder and whimsy. In this 47-minute class, you’ll learn her step-by-step process for creating beautiful watercolor portraits, including various tips and tricks she's picked up along the way, as well as her own personal philosophy on creativity and making art. 

All levels of skill are welcome, whether you’ve never used watercolors before or have been using them for years. 

By the end of the class, you will be ready to create your own colorful watercolor portrait, and hopefully be inspired to use the skills you learned for future watercolor projects.



151 of 156 students recommendSee All

Simple and easy to understand
I love this style of art. I learned a lot from this class. The instructions and tips were clear, concise and very helpful. Thank you!
It's a fun way of learning portrait watercolor!!!





Melissa Lee

allow yourself to fail before you succeed

Hi! My name's Melissa (Missa) Lee Shaw, and I'm an illustrator and watercolor painter from Northern California. I've been drawing for as long as I can remember, and it's all I've ever really wanted to do. I started teaching myself how to draw digitally in 2010 when I got my first tablet, and since then I've had a growing fascination with the digital art world. It's pretty rad. I graduated from California State University of Sacramento with a BA in Studio Art and a focus in the Electro...

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