Session 4 - How to Paint a Profile Face - Step by Step Guide by Amrita Paryani

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Have you ever had an interest in mixed media, or incorporating representational elements into your artwork? Would you like to discover ways to tap into your creative intuition and confidence through your artwork?
This session will lead you through a unique exploration of using mixed media as you hone practices of representational artwork.
Mixed media is a term used to describe artworks composed of a combination of different media or materials. Incorporating mixed media in your work could include any materials of your choosing, such as paper, photographs, fabric and other ephemera. This practice allows for liberty of expression, and emphasizes process as much as the product. Representational art refers to art that resembles objects or events in the real world, and is unique to each artist's perspective.
In this class, you will participate in a mindfulness practice to help you connect and allow your mind to rest. This will help you to accept your emotional and physical sensations and focus on the present.
We will warm-up with guided mark-making activities, and move into an exploration of different layering exercises, allowing you to experiment and witness how different mediums interact with one another. The culmination of this session will allow you to create a finished piece, drawing from the inspiration of representational images of your choosing.
We will try new things, while strengthening skills in both confidence and creative intuition. You will find ways to develop your own method of applying materials to compose the visual space.


  • Anyone who wants to explore mixed media or representational art in a unique way.
  • Those who want to strengthen and develop their own voice as an artist.
  • Anyone interested in developing skills that help you lock into your creative expression and intuition.
  • Those who want to discover more ways to source mixed media materials and incorporate them into their work.
  • This class is perfect for beginners as well as more experienced artists.

Paper, acrylic paints and at least three different types of media (Pencil, Pen, Marker, Acrylic Paint, Scrap paper). Optional supplies: additional media, brushes, water container, painting supplies, etc.
Circular items from around the house (think: plastic caps and cups, paper towel tubes, etc.)

Acrylics are fast drying paints that can be used straight from a tube, like oil paints, or can be thinned with water, like water color. They are extremely versatile and vibrant, offering the artist a wide range of textures, colors and consistencies.
Acrylics are also affordable, making them ideal for covering large areas with paint. Because these paints are opaque and fast drying, they can be very forgiving, allowing you to cover up mistakes with more paint. They can be painted on almost anything and dry into a water resistant surface. While you need to be aware of how quickly they dry, acrylics can be blended beautifully.
The heavy body color of acrylics is buttery and smooth, blending on the canvas almost like oils. Because they basically dry into a plastic surface, they are ideal for using in multimedia painting as well. All of these unique properties mean that you'll need to brush up on your acrylic painting techniques before you get started. It's important to have a good variety of brushes, ranging from small to large. You'll soon learn which you're more comfortable with, but these four are some of the more common shapes you'll encounter. The Filbert brush is a great all-purpose brush that can offer a straight or rounded shape.
Here we're using Fevicryl acrylics, which can hold up to a lot of water. These are considered 'Heavy Body Acrylics'. We'd encourage you to experiment with a variety of brands like Faber Castle to see which one you enjoy acrylic painting with the most – everyone has their favorite type and brand. Acrylic paint is essentially plastic; more specifically, pigment suspended in a polymer emulsion. You can break that emulsion with too much water, so take care when thinning it out.
The acrylic painting techniques in this article can be put into practice with any heavy body acrylic paint, student or professional grade.
Teaching you how to draw a whimsical face is one of my FAVORITE things to do! I'm having SO much fun with the whimsical face drawing.
Not only will this session help us study profile drawing, we'll cover how to draw an head wrap (including how to draw the fabric folds within it), how to draw a semi closed eye, and how to draw a face profile!
To get us started off on the right track, I'm doing a mini review of the value scale to help you understand how important this is whenever you're drawing and hoping to take your artwork to the next level.
If you incorporate the lightest light ALLLLLL the way to the darkest dark, and everything in between... your art will be so much more sophisticated!!
Profiles can feel extremely tricky to draw because of all the angle variations that make us who we are as individuals.
For drawing fabric folds for head scarf, I try to break the overall head scarf down into chunks / shapes
​Since I'm doing a whimsical drawing, instead of a realistic drawing, I'm able to give myself a little grace here if things aren't perfect. Doesn't THAT feel good?! No need for perfection when you pull out your "whimsy" card.
When everything is sketched in, go ahead and start erasing all your guidelines. My favorite eraser is the vanish eraser
We want the WHOLE value scale represented in your work, because this adds dimension and sophistication!! You have two choices when you're shading- either shading from light to dark or from dark to light. I've chosen to shade dark to light today- hitting the highlighted areas of her nose and chin first.
To reduce the streaks, it helps to lay your color down quickly so the shades blend into one another a bit when the ink is wet.
You can also choose one color to shade over transitional lines to attempt to soften these lines, or add colored pencil shading over the top of your marker layers. When you're blending copic markers, you can also try shading one solid color in strokes running the opposite direction from how you originally laid down color. I often use the lightest or a medium skin tone when doing this to my face drawing.
The farther I get into my project, the more layers I continue to build up on her face to eliminate some of the streakiness in my transitions. But I also discover, the model in my reference image really is much darker than I have portrayed, and I need to continue darkening the shadows and blending skin tones to do a better job replicating what I see.
Be sure to take your time here. Start slowly, and gradually build up those values. Honestly, the more layers you have, the more realistic the skin will look- because we're all made up of many colors!! So just keep working and blending until you feel like you're at a good place and happy with what you've got.
I used my round brush for my outlining - including the detail work on her eyelashes, just as I have used it in the previous lessons.
As I was working the finishing touches on today's drawing, I decided to add just a bit more shading in and around the ear, because something about it was just bothering me! I ended up adding some White and it made all the difference in the world!! Now there is really some deep, gorgeous contrast!

How do you STAMP using acrylic paint? Normally I would just use a brush and apply the acrylic paint onto the any circular stamp or lid before stamping. You have to do it fast though to avoid the acrylic paint drying up. I've tried to dab my stamp onto acrylic paint for stamping but it seems so difficult for me to control the amount of paint I want for stamping. However, there's an easy solution for this, To use your brush which allows you to apply the paint directly onto the stamp or any object. If you're using acrylic paint, you can mix all the colors you want and even apply different colors on different sections of your stamp.
It's actually very easy to stamp using acrylic paint. You just need a little patience in the cleaning process. So, start stamping now!!

Understand your color values. Everything you look at has a color palette. To keep your portrait interesting, choose three main colors that coordinate with color terminology. They can be primary, secondary, tertiary, monochromatic, cool/warm colors, or complementary. To keep it simple I am using a monochromatic color scheme consisting of black with varying grey undertones.
Background first. After years of painting, I only just recently got out of the groove of doing the subject first. It is WAY simpler to do the background first. The flow of your painting will increase exponentially if you have a dynamic background. But if you want your focal point to be the subject, attempt to blur the minor details with a wet sponge or large soft brush. Since I want the focus on my subject, I am doing a simple gradient of Black and White.
Start color blocking. You can start painting now! Start with a base color for anything like skin As you paint, increase your color intensity and decrease the size of your brush. When color blocking, you work your blocks down to simple strokes and will need a smaller brush.
Start confident, and reference from there. You need to color block with a medium-small brush and blend with a semi-wet paint on the canvas, working in sections at a time. These sections aren’t squares. They are organically shaped; i.e. if you chose to start at the nose, do the nose first. Then continue. Keep it flowing.
WHERE IS THE LIGHT SOURCE?! 1I haven’t had too much trouble with this, but I see beginning artists throwing around light willy nilly. Understand the light source before adding tints of light everywhere. There can be multiple light sources, which will result in different shadows shapes and colors. All you have to do is keep it consistent. Mine will be a muted white light in front/above her (forehead) and behind her (nose).
Don’t overwork it! If you are satisfied with a section in the painting and it doesn’t look lopsided or disproportionate, DON’T TOUCH IT.
I’ve spent countless hours redoing parts of a painting that just made it look jumbled and chunky in the end, all just because I thought I could do better. It’s almost like rolling a die for each part of the painting you do well. One meaning you NEED to redo it, six being to go home, you can’t do any better. So, if you roll a five, don’t be a gambler and attempt to roll a six. Take the money and run!
Trust the process. No matter how bad it seems, keep going … I promise everything will make sense in the end. If you are precise with these steps until the end, you will not regret it.
Distance yourself. I love a long functional paint session as much as the next artist. Turning on some tunes and actually getting great traction for the time I put in. But, you have to distance yourself. No. For real. Take a step back. Have lunch, nap, scroll through social media for a little bit. Then, come back and criticize your own work. You may come back and find errors EVERYWHERE. So, when you can, take a break and maybe just use the bathroom. But come back with some fresh eyes.
Allow for dry time. With most paints, you have to wait for it to thoroughly dry before adding another layer. Taking a quick break would be great, or work on another section. And, if you are ever so impatient, take a hairdryer to it. But don’t dry it so much that it cracks.
Accept criticism the entire time. While painting someone may pass by. Heed their advice. In fact, half way through, ask someone who dislikes you what they think. They will give you full honesty. Then, ask a friend. They will give you criticism and tell you what they like so far. Even at the end. Accept criticism.
Remember that art isn’t calculus. it’s subjective… and there is no wrong or right answer. So there is no such thing as an awful portrait. It is the way you made it because of the time and effort you put into it. Keep your effort at maximum and you will not be disappointed.

Website @ www.AmritaParyani.ART

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