painting portraits.

After my little visit to the Gallery in Cardiff at the weekend with Boyfriend it inspired me to get my paints out and create a little something. After getting ridiculously excited seeing my first ever Van Gogh and cooing over Monet I thought I had better harness this flourish of creativity and I decided to print a little picture out of Natalie from Natalie off duty, and use it as my artistic muse and paint a little portrait. she also tweeted me yesterday to say how amazing the painting was, which was amazingly sweet of her because I am a massive fan of her blog and her style.  I chose the photo as a challenge to myself, as I have never drawn or painted anyone wearing sunglasses before, this may not sound like such a a massive challenge but getting the shading right can be a bit of a pain, trying to make the glasses stand out is where it is at. 

I personally paint an under colour of lime green where i will be painting the skin, ( its personal preference and it has always worked for me) this is due to the fact that our skin is never just one colour, I bet if you look at your hand right now you will at least see 4 colours red, blue, purple, green, brown, peach, yellow, there is so much depth to skin tone. It has to be one of my favourite things to paint. I also personally never ever use black in my paintings, as it can be far too harsh against the skin tone, i always use a mixture that never fails, teal with brown, also red, blue and brown is always good for shading and adding great depth to any painting. 

In this painting I have used acrylics and a canvas from tiger, I love the oval shape and I can just imagine hanging it on a wall in my living room once I have finally moved into my own place.
Acrylics themselves can be manipulated and watered down like watercolours and spread around a lot, which is another medium I love to paint in. Also another trick I use is to paint and draw upside down, not me upside down but the painting, its the best way to look at shapes because your eye automatically think it knows what an eye looks like or a mouth, it gets you to really look at what you are drawing. 

I think when it comes creativity we should always push ourselves to create something beautiful that we didnt think we could ever accomplish, I was told when I was at school that I was the absolute worst at drawing and painting portraits, so I told my teacher that I would only ever do projects from now on, looking at people and portraits, if someone tells you can’t do something. 

Would people like it if I did a little tutorial on how to paint? 




  1. April 30, 2013 / 8:15 pm

    This is really wonderful, Ella. You are a truly talented lady! x

  2. April 30, 2013 / 8:38 pm

    This is so pretty! I can't wait to move out of student halls, I haven't painted for about two years now… For one project I did I used purple under colour for the skin and its was lovelyyy x

  3. April 30, 2013 / 8:41 pm

    You know my answer already – YES!! I'd love a tutorial. This is such a lovely post Ella, it's so nice to be able to see all the stages/processes the painting went through – from beginning to end. And it's a gorgeous painting, you have talents beyond my wildest of dreams πŸ™‚ And that teacher was crazy, but I guess, in a way can also be thanked – for driving you to push onwards and upwards, to create your beautiful drawings, and paintings, and in doing so, showing them to us and allowing us to marvel at them πŸ™‚ xxx

  4. April 30, 2013 / 9:12 pm

    Ella honestly this is so, so amazing – my favourite of yours so far I think! x

  5. April 30, 2013 / 9:29 pm

    I love the drawing upside down idea, I've only done that once but really should do it more… You're so talented with acrylics, I find gouache paint much easierxx

  6. April 30, 2013 / 9:41 pm

    Wow, great post! The painting is amazing – thanks for the tips too! I used to adore art when I was younger… maybe I'll take it up again πŸ™‚ x

  7. April 30, 2013 / 9:41 pm

    This is amazing, I love it! I really enjoy painting but I'm not very good at it, and I rarely take on big paintings now that I don't do art at school. The upsidown idea is great, I will definitely try that out the next time i get my paints out πŸ™‚ I would love to read a painting tutorial by you! xx

  8. April 30, 2013 / 11:24 pm

    You are so right! Skin has many tones and hues that you wouldn't really think are there, but if we look closely and paint what we seen instead of what we think is there then we can achieve great depth and realism. I used to do oil paintings some years ago but haven't in a really long time. This post is making we want to get my paints out again. πŸ™‚ Beautiful painting!

  9. April 30, 2013 / 11:54 pm

    looks gorgeous ella! I love the way you've done the skin, and I'd love a tutorial. I need to get back into making art. πŸ™‚

  10. May 1, 2013 / 2:24 pm

    You are so talented Ella! This is just incredible, so beautiful! I wish I was as talented as you! xxx

  11. May 1, 2013 / 5:16 pm

    ooh a tutorial on painting would be wonderful! i painted in class briefly at college and really enjoyed it but its not something I've experimented with by myself,i think I'm a little scared of it! so it be great to have a few pointers. Beautiful beautiful blog,I've only just started my own and so yours is very inspiring! All the best, becca

  12. May 1, 2013 / 5:40 pm

    Great tip on turning the painting upside down, I remember when I thought I had done an amazing job at drawing out a portrait in pencil but because the paper was quite big and it was flat on the table, when I held it up I realised that the whole portrait was stretched out weirdly because of the angle I was sat! Love your blog.
    Kerry x

  13. May 1, 2013 / 6:21 pm

    This is so interesting. I've never had much of an ability when it comes to painting and have never really had the dedication to improve my skills. It's so fascinating to see the steps you go through to create a piece of artwork and really inspiring to see how much dedication and hard work you've put in over the years.
    Jodie xx
    Future Freaks Me

  14. Mairik
    May 10, 2013 / 9:45 pm

    Please do do a painting tutorial! xxx

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