Jen’s Picks: Paint Expressive Portraits

Expressive Portraits
Creative Methods for Painting People
by Jean Pederson
If you’re tired of the “same old” book on painting portraits, Expressive Portraits is a welcomed breath of fresh air. Sophisticated in style, yet very approachable in technique and presentation, this book will help you lose your inhibitions while reaching a new level of expression in your portraits.

In Expressive Portraits, Jean Pederson shows you how to combine watercolor with other mediums, pushing the inherent properties of each a little further to achieve stunning effects and subtle layers not possible with any one medium alone. Learn the secrets to glorious lights, richer darks, intriguing texture and mysterious passages that create mood, a strong sense of character…ultimately, portraits rich with depth and emotion–like people themselves!

Four Steps to Stunning Portraits
Each chapter of Expressive Portraits leads you one step closer to creating powerful portraits:

  • Choose your materials. Creative opportunity begins with understanding how your materials behave and what they can do for you.
  • Know your subject. Knowing the similarities in people makes it easier to isolate unique characteristics for a true likeness.
  • Plan your design. The best paintings are firmly rooted in–but not stifled by–a good design plan.
  • Explore and experiment. Once you have a strong foundation, you can let your creative side loose and journey into the “what if” zone… What if you paint on the vertical and direct the paint with a spray bottle? What if you add heavy-body paint to watercolors for one-of-a-kind textures? What if you accentuate your subject with pencil crayon or gouache?

This Book Is Packed with Instruction!
You will learn something valuable on every page of this Expressive Portraits. How to capture “the right” lighting. Poses or not and what they mean. How to figure out what is the most important part of your subject. Creating color and skintone. How to use different brushes and paint consistencies for different effects. Getting the background to work. There is so much here, you’ll be excited with every turn of the page!

“Painting creatively is painting without fear. My hope is that this book will demystify watercolor and water mediums, and help you find new ways to add freedom to your method and interest to your paintings.”
–from Jean Pederson, author of Expressive Portraits


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