Qveen Herby – Face Study

Studying and painting faces are some of our favourite way to spend our free time. This time we were interested to study the album cover of Qveen Herby's EP 4 , basically because we were enchanted by the floral theme, facial structure, expression, and overall concept of it.

Creating a realistic painting by referencing an actual photo is actually not that hard. The key is basically to explore various facial features and keep on practicing. The more often you try to draw one, the better you are.

First of all, prepare your favourite medium that you like. In this study we used:

  • 200 gsm watercolour pad
  • watercolour pencils
  • liquid watercolour
  • white acrylic paint
  • small to medium brushes
  • some water

Then proceed to start drawing some outlines to determine the facial’s basic structure:

  • proportion of face, nose, eyes, and lips
  • eyes shape
  • brow’s shape
  • basic characteristic of nose
  • unique feature of lips

We used light brown watercolour pencil for this step because it’s easy to blend with other colours, lighter or darker. We didn’t trace the picture since this was meant to be a face study, we placed the picture really close and constantly referring to it instead.

Second step is to explore the basic colours for your painting. Try to copy the colour as close to the real one but no need to be worried too much as you can give more depth later by combining colours.

At this point we tried to highlight the key features of her face even more by adding shadow and depth to her eyes, lips, and cheeks. We were still using watercolour pencil as our main weapon.

Here comes the fun part. Add some water lightly to your paper, this will solve the watercolour pencil that we used as base and give us basic watercolour effect and colours.

Once it’s done, we also add more colours and details using liquid watercolour. Bear in mind that we’re working from light to darker colours, transparent to a more opaque consistency.

From the last point up until this point, we were working on detailing the whole face to make it as similar as the original poster. To break down what we’ve done:

  1. use liquid watercolour to add shadow (continuously darken area with either the same colour over and over again or add darker colour. avoid using black because it’s hard to add darker colour after this, use this at the very last step) to define cheek and overall face surface, neck (hidden area under her chin and hair), eyelid, nose structure, corner of lips,
  2. use watercolour pencil on top of watercolour (tips: let the watercolour wash dried before adding pencil) to define precise line e.g. eyebrow, hairline, eyelash, eyes, nose, and lip corners,
  3. and use white acrylic paint to highlight some parts e.g. reflection in eyes, glossy lips, glasses frame, and hairline.

We practically done with the hardest part, which was the face.

Lastly, we amused ourselves with some relaxing routines of painting watercolour flowers. We intentionally revert from creating a far too detailed flowers as we wanted the whole painting to be fully focused on the face. But this part adds a lot of cheerful colours which made the overall painting more interesting.

Have tried it yourself? Share with us your face study experience using any medium that you like through the contact form to get featured in our Instagram.

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