About Sandrine Pelissier
I grew up in France but have been living in Canada for the last 12 years, I am currently located in North Vancouver and work from a studio on Pemberton Avenue.
Watercolor is my medium of choice because of the unique way it allows me to render light. The transparency of this medium can make it look like the painting is lit from behind and the light is shining through the paper In my portraits, I like to tell stories about the people around me. I am very interested in childhood fantasy or fairy tales (I wish it would snow Flowers, Hair Balloon, Georgia, the Spanish dress and the Eclectus Parrot). I also like to induce a dialogue with the viewer in some paintings dealing more with introspection and mood (Mixed, In the studio).
Those portraits are not about likeness or knowing the people that are being painted, as I see my models as actors in a movie, they are the faces that will allow me to tell a story or to show emotions. Those faces are a source of endless fascination and I find the subtlety that can be achieved with watercolor well suited to the complexity of the human face.
My technique involves the accumulation of many transparent layers of watercolor. Then I like to incorporate mixed media in the background, work sometimes with some contouring. I also sometimes like to add some drawing on top of the painting or some graphic elements…
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Oil Portrait Demo Using the Dry Brush Technique
(Click Images for Larger Views)
I recently started to experiment with dry brushing, it is a technique that allows you to make paintings that look like drawing in a fraction of the time. This technique is particularly efficient to make soft edged shading.
Dry brushing for portrait painting time lapse video
For dry brushing you need a few stiff brushes to paint details and one or two soft round brushes for shading.
What works well for me is to spread a small quantity of oil paint on a piece of cardboard, then rub my brush on this paint, and dry if a bit on a paper towel before painting on the paper.
I used watercolor paper with a very fine texture, you can also use bristol paper.