A strong drawing will allow you to paint loose while still retaining a good likeness. Follow along with this advice for painting people from Grant Fuller’s Watercolor A to Z:
1. Draw from reference, checking your proportions.
2. Wash the figure and background together, leaving areas of white paper for the lightest lights.
3. Work darker and smaller, strengthening shapes.
4. Finish sparingly, adding some details, but allowing the viewer’s imagination to fill in the blanks.
For those of you not familiar with this 2008 North Light book, you can learn more about Watercolor A to Z in Jen’s Picks here, or check out Grant Fuller’s recent feature in the September/October 2009 issue of Canadian Brushstroke Magazine here.