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.
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…
Sophie – Watercolor Portrait Painting Demonstration
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My last watercolor portrait, asking for my friend Sophie to pose, she has nicely done this a few times for me already:
I am still thinking about what the title could be, and will change it soon, once I see the light.
I struggled with the composition on this one until I decided to change the format from a landscape to a portrait one. I also like to leave an unfinished part in the lower area with some drippings.
I am changing my way to work on watercolor portraits recently, using a more improvised way of painting, leaving more place for the paint to do what it wants to. Here are some of the steps I took :
The drawing on newsprint, I did some shading that is not necessary but helps me better understand the face in 3 D.
After shading the back of my paper with charcoal and graphite, I taped it on my watercolor paper.
On my watercolor paper, I just kept the main outlines. I reserve some areas with masking fluid.
I start working with my board at quite a steep angle so the paint will go down and drip
My first layers are blue in the areas in shade and yellow in lighter areas, I don’t have much control on the paint at this stage.
Once those first layers are dried, I start to add more layers, incorporating some purples and orange
I start working on the hair and the features, adding paint and scrubbing some off.
I scrub a lot of paint off, revealing more light areas.
The finished painting