Light a Candle…

I still doodle and dabble here and there. I don’t do it as much as I’d like and I certainly haven’t lately. I’m not sure why I’ve been busy this past month but I was. I did a painting for Jay’s birthday in July that I never posted about here. I instagrammed the stages and layers. Since I have the pics, I figured I’d blog about it.

Watercolor paper – cold press
Brushes (of course)
White Calligrapher’s Ink

darkness1I sketched out the basics of the woman’s face – basically an oval and 2 curved lines then a line going back to represent where the hair would be and filled it in quickly with a wash of color.

You can see the color bleeding around, that’s fine. I didn’t do it intentionally exactly but I didn’t also wait for areas to dry before adding paint so I knew some bleeding would happen. The dots you see are from me tapping with my finger tips. This colors but also depending on how hard you press, can damage the paper slightly which will change how future colors react.


darkness2Next layer.
You can see that I just added in mostly more of the same colors. Or similar colors in order to make them a little deeper.

I also started to add in some of the shadowing in the face. Some hair whipping around her face and more finger tapping in the background and hairs.

There’s still some bleeding you can see between the hair and background, this is still ok at this point.


darkness3ok. The color is a tad distorted here. It is a little more dull than the last stage but it’s not quite this washed out. I wasn’t exactly being careful to get accurate pictures and you can tell.

More layers on everything. The hair got a little darker and the background got a little more dull.

The face got a little more defined.

When the background dried some, I added in more hair whisps.


darkness4This is the true color of the background – It’s more dull than pictures 1 and 2 but it’s not nearly as dull as it shows in #3. The face though looks pretty washed out here.

This stage, I did obviously spend more time on the face than anything. The hair got some activity but I started to put more shadows in the face and started to really define the features.

All those bits of hair flying around…



I think there were 2 washes added between the last step and this one.

The colors of the hair and background are pretty well set here. The hair needs to be a tad more defined. I put another level of definition in the eyes and you can see I added color into the lips.





Since it was very dry when I got to this step, I was able to add in some very defined and thinner lines to the hair. Lines that don’t happen when it’s super wet. In real life, you can see the hair swishing behind the words.

Finally I got out some white ink and I added in this phrase. I also used the white ink to define a little more in the eyes and around the mouth.

The colors aren’t super accurate but you get an idea of all the layers and such that can go into a painting. This one really didn’t feel like it had as many as some that I do.

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3 Responses to Light a Candle…

  1. Manise says:

    Very cool! I love the process and the end result!

  2. Beth says:

    I love it! I wish I could draw like that.

  3. Kath says:

    Very nice and I’m sure will be treasured by the recipient. These projects can be both stressful – if the expectations are high, or relaxing – if you’re all about the process (it’s only paper, we can toss and start over right? Must remember this…) Anyway, hope yours was the latter.

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