How to Draw for a Painting – Still-Life Watercolor Painting Process

Hi there!

A while ago I worked on this painting of a pastry called Rozalach (which is insanely delicious!!).

I also recorded the entire painting process.

As I was watching the footage, I realised it would be great material to talk about DRAWING in the context of painting.

In other words, this is great content to explain how to draw for a painting.

so without further ado, here’s the video (and if you prefer to read – scroll on! ūüėČ)

Drawing for a painting is different

Drawing for a painting is different from drawing when pencil is the final purpose in mind.

It requires to be as detailed as necessary, but not more than that.

With this process, I starting by marking the edges of the pile of Rozalach pastries.

You can see what these look like in the reference pic on the top left corner.

Once I finished indicating the edges, I was able to fill up the space with quick sketches, representing the shapes of the tasty doughy rolls.

This is the hardest part. Once you get those guidelines in, it’s only a matter of filling in the gaps with the finer details.

Here you see me filling in those details. The main things I’m looking for are strong changes in values (meaning darks and lights).

When drawing for a painting, this is extremely important.

Here is the final drawing!

This is a good indication of how a typical drawing that’s ready to paint will look.

Some prefer to be more detailed, while others prefer less details.

I will tell you what – I recommend experimenting with both. Trying different levels of detail has its utility.

More detailed – may allow for more realistic results.

Less detailed – allows you to practice using the brush more, and “drawing” with the paint (rather than just “coloring” the areas between the lines).

And now is my favourite part – The drawing is ready to be painted! At this stage I can already imagine the colors I’ll be using, and the transparency of watercolor (which I love).

Painting

List of colors:

  • New Gamboge
  • Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • Pyrrol Scarlet
  • French Ultramarine

Here is the very first wash.

My main concern is achieving an even result that’s “flowing” properly, and a variety of interesting colors.

Sometimes I go really wild with my colors (especially with portraits), but this time I decided not too.

I was afraid the colors will make it harder to communicate what I painted (a pastry that not everyone will be instantly familiar with).

And so I decided to go with an interesting range of yellows, oranges, reds and some blues.

Notice how I also made sure to connect the Rozalachs with the background. The purpose is to ensure they don’t appear to be “cut off” from the background. We want them to look like an integral part of the setting.

I find this extremely important at times, especially with painting people as a part of a scene.

After that, I move onto the second wash, where we’ll put in the darker shades.

This immediately breaks the painting down into more discernible shapes that actually have a meaning.

In most paintings, I find this to be the most difficult stage. That’s because you really need to start paying attention to the drawing.

There’s one cool effect I think I was able to get at this stage.

The pastries are covered in sugar powder. To indicate that powder’s texture I made use of the paper’s texture (I’m using a cold-press paper for this one).

Notice the areas just under the Rozalachs in particular. I used dry brush strokes that will preserve the paper’s texture and create a powder-like effect.

And here’s the final result!

There was actually a third layer as well. Make sure to watch the full video to see it.

I’m very pleased with how this painting turned out. I love the color selection, composition, temperature and overall feeling.

I hope you enjoyed this quick lesson, and I’ll talk to you soon!

– Liron

The Stages of Watercolor Painting

Hi all!

A few days ago I published a YouTube vid that I think a lot can benefit from.
I want to share some highlights in this post.

If you want to watch the full video, you can check it out here:

The Stages of Watercolor Painting

When I got started in watercolors, I ran into some issues I couldn’t find a solution for.
They mainly revolved around the actual process of painting, on a macro level.

What should I start with?
Do I cover everything up in the initial wash?
Should I use wet-in-wet? When?

This video and tutorial are my attempt of answering some of these questions.
I’ll do this using this painting’s process:

So let’s talk about the different stages of watercolor painting…

Introduction

This is MY personal approach. I encourage you to learn from it, and then seek out advice of others.
This way you’ll learn what works best for YOU, and what’s most suitable to your style and desired final result.

I personally like to finish a painting in as few layers as possible.
This means I don’t do a huge amount of glazes. I usually wrap a painting up in 3-5 layers.

Also, as I like to make the most out of each layer, I make a lot of use of wet-in-wet and lifting when necessary.
I do these in every layer, as I see fit.

So here’s the initial drawing, ready to be painted.

My approach to this is going to be fairly simple.
The figures are my focus of attention.
The background is going to be secondary and simplistic.

This is why I decided on first painting the figures fully, and only then attending to the background.

Every “type” of painting is going to be different.
If this was a landscape painting, my initial wash would have probably covered much more of the paper.

More on that near the end of the post, under Conclusion

The first stage is the initial wash.

The Initial Wash (AKA First layer)

This is the first layer we will paint.
With this one, my main concern is to keep things flowing and even.
I don’t care about the colors mixing into one another.

I know I can tighten things up and even correct some mistakes in the next washes.

This is what my initial wash looks like.
Do you see all the blooms and cauliflowers?
This is cause by wet paint “bleeding” into a somewhat dry paint.

I really don’t care about it!
The first wash, to me, is adventure time. This is perfectly fine.

Here’s a close up of how some of the colors blended.

I’m really pleased with this result.

The 2nd Wash

This is the time to paint in all the mid-values.
This is basically everything that’s darker than the initial wash.

Here’s my 2nd wash for this one.

I usually find this to be the most difficult wash.
This is because this one REALLY sets the tone for the entire painting.
It’s a really important one that will start building the shapes of the people in the painting, as well as the feeling of light and shadow.

The 2nd wash also demands more attention to edges.
You want a nice mix of soft and hard edges. This really helps create interest.

Here’s the 2nd wash done.

The 3rd Wash

This is the time to put in the richest, darkest shadows.
You will probably also go over many areas you already covered earlier, in the 2nd wash.

You want to make sure to push the value range as much as necessary.
Most realistic scenes have a very wide range of values, from the lightest whites to some really dark blacks.

Notice how this stage really makes things pop.
This is because by painting the shadows, we actually paint the lights and highlights.

4th Wash and Beyond

For me, this stage is for darkening things that are supposed to be darker.
At this point I also add some final details that perhaps I didn’t get the chance to so far.

In this particular painting, all I did for the 4th wash was to add that background.
And we are done!

Conclusion

This is it for the process.
I want to mention something important. Every painting is different.

I use different approaches for each painting, and for every “type” of scene.
So for landscapes, I’ll probably cover everything up.
For portraits or people, I’ll probably work on them and only add the background in the end.

With time, you’ll learn what works best for you, for each type of subject and painting.
It’s almost like you’ll have a blueprint for each type of painting.

If you are a beginner, don’t worry.
This will come with time and experience

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
If you have, make sure to check out the full video to see more of the process:
The Stages of Watercolor Painting

And this is it!
Let me know what you think in a comment below.

Is this similar to your approach?
Do you treat the stages differently?

– Liron

How to Draw a Clenched Fist

Hey friends!

In this drawing lesson I’ll show you how to draw a clenched fist!

The key takeaway here is to try to simplify the shape of the hand, and use simple guidelines that will eventually turn into more complex shapes.

Check out the drawing lesson here: How to Draw a Clenched Fist!

Pay attention to the thumb, and how it obstructs some of the fingers.

Also, the main challenge in drawing the hand here, was getting the correct shape of the inner parts of the fingers.

Notice how they are bent downwards, and into the center of the palm.

I hope this was helpful!

If you enjoyed this video lesson, let me become your personal, on-email, drawing teacher (=

You can do that, for FREE, right here

You’ll also receive a gift book (=

how to draw a clenched fist

I hope to hear from you soon!

– Liron

How to Draw a Head in Profile View (Female)

Hey friends!

In this drawing lesson I’ll teach you how to draw a head in profile view, in a step by step manner.

My reference was a woman, and so some of the features will be gentler, but for the most part, the process is similar to drawing a male head.

Now, I will say this – this is one way of drawing a human head. It’s not even necessarily MY way.

I tend to prefer to simply draw what I see (=

But I understand that for many people it’s easier to draw using guidelines.

Check out the video, and then keep reading for some more tips:

I think everything here is mostly self-explanatory, but here are some of my key takeaways from the video:

1. One of the more important relations here is to understand where to place the chin and the jaw line.

From my experience, if you divide that initial circle into quarters (like we did), or even thirds, you’ll find that the chin is about a quarter-third below the circle.

In this example it was about a quarter.

2. Pay attention to the ear and the eyes.

If you draw a straight horizontal line from the ear, to the left, you’ll find it’ll be in-line with the eyebrows, or sometimes the eyes.

3. The mouth. A good rule to follow is, that the mouth is around the same height as the lower edge of the circle.

That’s mostly it.

The real challenge is playing with these guidelines and rules, trying to draw the head from different angles.

I recommend reference, as always! There are many many good images on Pinterest, that you can use as reference for drawing heads, the entire human figure or anything else you’d like to draw.

This is it for today!

Be sure to share any questions you have in a comment below, and subscribe here to get MY PERSONAL GUIDANCE (free!) + my book as a gift!

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And I’ll talk to you soon,

– Liron

How to Draw Realistic Braids!

Hey friends!

A lot of people have been asking me how to draw hair, realistic hair and especially braids.

Well, for you girls and boys – in this drawing lesson we are going to learn how to draw realistic braids! (=

I think there is something in the challenge of drawing braids, that attract aspiring artists to it more than other “simple” hair styles.

P.S. notice how I am a little sick! I partied too hard on our independence day here in Israel, and slightly blew my voice =P So you’ll have to forgive me for that.

Okay, first – watch the videos on how to draw realistic braids! (=

Part 1:

Now part 2:

After you watched these, you might want to read on for MY key tips on this topic…

Key tips on how to draw realistic braids

#1 – Contrast!

In realistic drawings, one of the key elements is good use of contrast.

If the dark areas in reality are black, you want to get them as pitch black in your drawing.

If the highlights are perfect white, don’t settle for paper-white. Use a gouache to get a perfect white. If the… you get the point (=

I’m nowhere near master in realism drawing just yet, but these are some of my experiences.

#2 – Be the man with the plan (or the woman with the plan…)

Draw some guidelines that’ll help you later on.

This is especially important when drawing braids, as the hair will be divided in a certain way.

You want to understand the natural direction in which the hair flows, as well as the way it’s divided / sectioned, according to the specific hairstyle being worn.

#3 РHairs and strands!

Now comes the grueling part of actually drawing the single strands of hair.

Remember – there is a direct correlation between this step, and the final result. If you’ll put in the time and effort on each single strand – it will show!

I personally still have a hard time really taking my time and focusing on the tiny details WHILE FILMING AND TALKING ^_^

This is something I’ll have to get over haha…

And I think that wraps it up. Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Also, I’m really trying to grow this blog and help as many people as possible. But that’s impossible without your help. So PLEASE share / subscribe on the left, and I’ll be forever grateful.

Oh, and did I mention you’ll get THIS for FREE…? (=

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Thanks, and I’ll talk to you soon,

– Liron