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Learning: Portrait & Figure – Watercolor
(also see Watercolor Painting)
Lessons in Realistic Watercolor: A Contemporary Approach to Painting People and Places in the Classical Tradition by Mario Andres Robinson – Paperback: 176 pages; Publisher: Monacelli Studio (April 12, 2016) Best Seller

In the tradition of American painters such as Andrew Wyeth, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and John Singer Sargent, Mario Andres Robinson shows us how to create beautiful, timeless, classical watercolor paintings through the use of simple, yet sophisticated, contemporary techniques every watercolorist needs to know.

The Art of Drawing & Painting Portraits by Tim Chambers (Author), Ken Goldman (Author), Peggi Habets (Author), Lance Richlin (Author) – Paperback: 144 pages Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing; First edition (September 1, 2012) Best Seller

With instructions and step-by-step projects for creating an array of portaits, this all-inclusive book covers everything about portraiture in the most popular drawing and painting media. Ideal for beginning artists who would like to experiment with different media, The Art of Drawing & Painting Portraits teaches the artist how to create beautiful and realistic portraits in pencil, pastel, watercolor, oil, and acrylic.

Portraits: Discover dynamic techniques for creating lifelike heads and faces in watercolor by Peggi Habets – Paperback: 64 pages; Publisher: Walter Foster Publishing (May 1, 2012) Best Seller

Peggi Habets is an award-winning watercolor portrait artist. Her studio is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her lifelong interest in art and a 15-year career in graphic design and illustration have been the necessary building blocks to her current career as a portrait painter.

Painting Portraits and Figures in Watercolor by Mary Whyte - 160 pages; Watson-Guptill; original edition (December 6, 2011) Best Seller

Using clear and concise language and in-depth, step-by-step demonstrations, author and renowned artist Mary Whyte guides beginning and intermediate watercolorists through the entire painting process, from selecting materials to fundamental techniques to working with models.

Realistic Watercolor Portraits: How to Paint a Variety of Ages and Ethnicities by Suzanna Winton – Hardcover: 160 pages; Publisher: North Light Books (January 19, 2011) Best Seller

Nine complete step-by-step demonstrations show you how to use watercolors to build portraits that come to life with realism and personality. Each demonstration features a different person—so you can explore a range of ages, skin tones, facial features, hair tones and textures—mastering each detail at your own pace.

Practical Directions for Portrait Painting in Water Colours by Mary Philadelphia Merrifield – Paperback: 63 pages Publisher: Adamant Media Corporation (September 27, 2001)

This Elibron Classics book is a facsimile reprint of a 1880 edition by Winsor and Newton, London.

The Figure in Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused by Mel Stabin – Paperback: 112 pages Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications (February 1, 2003)

Following in the footsteps of Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused is Mel Stabin's latest: The Figure in Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused. Capturing a figure's unique personality and multifaceted quality in watercolor is challenging-but Stabin demonstrates, step by step, how the new artist can capture the figure by painting simply, directly, and with intense focus on the "essence" of a person. Readers will discover tested techniques and hands-on tips for painting portraits, people in an environment, and groups of people, as well as for painting people from photographs. They'll also find a treasury of valuable advice on design, composition, shape, value, color, and more!

Watercolor Basics: People by Butch Kreiger – Paperback: 128 pages Publisher: North Light Books (November 2001) Best Seller

Butch Krieger is a regular contributor to the "Drawing Board" feature in The Artist's Magazine. In it, he focuses on teaching the essentials of portrait and figure drawing. Butch has also won many awards and his work appears in Best of Portrait Painting. He lives in Port Angeles, Washington.

This new title in the Watercolor Basics series provides artists with all the step-by-step guidance they need to bring people and portraits to life through the beauty of watercolor. From achieving proper proportion to rendering skin tones, author Butch Krieger makes mastering the basics—value, shape, line and color—a snap. Seventeen complete demonstrations and thirteen mini demos take readers through every step, everything from selecting materials and mixing colors to creating effects. Whether the reader is an absolute beginner striving to paint people realistically, or a more advanced artist looking to improve a specific technique, Watercolor Basics: People will make a noticeable difference in the quality of their work.

Painting Watercolor Portraits That Glow by Jan Kunz – Paperback: 160 pages Publisher: North Light Books, 1998 Best Seller

Jan Kunz has written a thoughtful, well-organized, presentation on how to paint watercolor portraits. Her realistic style of painting still manages to be expressive due to her emphasis on careful planning of how the image will be painted beforehand, allowing the artist's brush to put in correct values and hues with freedom and control at the same time. It's where I look whenever I get in trouble painting a portrait.

Painting Watercolor Portraits by Al Stine – Hardcover: 128 pages Publisher: North Light Books, 1997

Popular artist Al Stine shares his secrets and techniques for creating portraits alive with emotion, expression and color. In this book, Stine shows artists how to paint fresh and colorful watercolor portraits that are as unique and alive as the subjects themselves. 210 illustrations.

Painting Figures and Portraits in Watercolor: Basic Techniques & Exercises by Jose Maria Parramon – Paperback: 96 pages Publisher: Watson-Guptill Pubns (January 1999)

By simplifying its subject matter, this instructional book makes the sophisticated genre of figure painting accessible even to novice watercolorists.

This book explains how to draw human proportions for male, female, adolescent, and infant bodies. Then various figure poses are considered and how to show light and shadow falling on them by sketching directly in watercolor. Specific instructions are given for portraying gender, age, and realistic facial features, along with tips for achieving a good likeness. The lessons include painting studies of both clothed and nude figures, and exercises for individual facial features.

Portrait Painting in Watercolor by Charles Reid – Reprint Edition, Hardcover: 156 pages Publisher: Watson-Guptill, 1989

Reid leads artists through 24 detailed step-by-step demonstrations on painting the portrait.

How to Paint Living Portraits by Roberta Carter Clark – Paperback: 160 pages; Publisher: North Light Books; 2ndEdition edition (April 26, 2011) Best Seller

Since its original publication, this best-selling book has earned a loyal following among students of portraiture. Back in print by popular demand, How to Paint Living Portraits has been updated to help today's artists discover the joys of this time-honored tradition. Hands-on instruction covers a range of ages and ethnicities, offering a practical approach to creating successful, spirited portraits in charcoal, oils and watercolor.

Drawing & Painting Portraits in Watercolour by David Thomas – Paperback: 128 pages; Publisher: Search Press (July 12, 2016)

The subtle tonal variations of watercolour make it ideal for capturing those same subtleties in the human face. Follow David Thomas as he explains the tools and materials you need, composition and colour theory, and practical techniques to let you unleash your own artistry. Learn how to paint figures and produce portraits that capture character and energy as well as a likeness. This book contains five step-by-step projects which encapsulate the core of portraiture, and also dozens of inspirational portraits and information which will let you apply the lessons to your own work.

Painting People in Watercolor by Alex Powers – Hardcover: 148 pages Publisher: Echo Point Books & Media (March 9, 2015)

A fresh approach to portrait and figure painting in watercolor! In Painting People in Watercolor, Alex Powers provides a comprehensive guide on working with watercolor, mastering the principals of design, and understanding the fundamentals of portrait painting. Powers takes the inquiring artist beyond photorealistic painting and acquaints painters with the human form from a design perspective.

Portraits and Figures in Watercolor Paperback: 80 pages; Publisher: Watson-Guptill; 1st edition (May 1, 1984) Best Seller

A beautiful, full-color guide to a better understanding of portrait and figure painting -- the materials, techniques for success and the special problems involved in painting people.

Painting People (Watercolor for the Fun of It) by Michaelin Otis – Paperback: 96 pages Publisher: North Light Books (January 6, 2005)

Presents simple, beginning instruction in an uncluttered form, using a concrete, realistic style that beginners like to emulate.

Breaking the Rules of Watercolor by Burt Silverman – Reprint Edition, Paperback, Published by Watson-Guptill, 1991

Step-by-step demonstrations present innovative techniques that combine the freshness and spontaneity of watercolor with the control and textural richness of oil painting.

The Natural Way to Paint: Rendering the Figure in Watercolor Simply and Beautifull by Charles Reid – Paperback: 144 pages Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications; New Ed edition (April 15, 2000)

This instructional book approaches the figure organically, showing readers how to observe its basic shapes and subtle nuances through practical exercises and lessons in the art of seeing with a painter's eye.

Step-by-step demonstrations in contour drawing teach how to capture the overall essence of the human form, then lessons in gesture drawing emphasize the body's linear rhythms in various poses. Painting techniques progress from silhouette to three-dimensional forms through clever uses of light, shadow, color, and value.

Painting the Unposed Figure in Watercolor by Vincent Ballestar – Paperback: 128 pages Publisher: Design Books International (March 1, 2001)

So much daily human activity longs to be captured by the artist's brush--but to do so requires skills and techniques that stretch beyond the traditional, studio-based approach to figure drawing. Ballestar teaches watercolor artists a "Candid Brush" approach to subjects engaged in the spontaneity of everyday tasks. He shows how to capture attitudes, emotions and activities of many subjects—a child playing in the street, a farmer returning from work, a couple in the park. Readers are encouraged to do quick, on the spot sketches and also to take photographs of such events to take back to their studios for later development.

This guide also introduces the methods used by past masters and top-ranking contemporary artists. Their brilliant sketches of "unposed" figures, full of motion and informality, are analyzed to reveal the artists' particular styles and techniques.

Basic People Painting: Techniques in Watercolor by Rachel Rubin Wolf (Editor) – 1st Edition, Paperback: 127 pages Publisher: North Light Books, 1996

The publisher: Beginners will learn to make the most of watercolor! Beginners will learn, from 11 outstanding artists, how to take advantage of watercolor's special properties to create realistic paintings of men, women and children of all ages. Contains basic information about materials, color and design as well as demonstrations that illustrate the figure-painting process from head to toe.

Painting People in Watercolor: A Design Approach by Alex Powers – Paperback: 144 pages Publisher: Watson-Guptill, 1997

Reader review: I have been reading and re-reading this book since December 1997. I have always had the desire to paint but never picked up a paintbrush because realistic painting did not leave me inspired to follow. The painting style that Alex Powers has in his work is what I have been searching for all my life. In writing about his personal style he encourages his readers to find their own style. I picked this book up several different times over a two week period before I finally bought it. I would love to attend a class that he teaches.

Watercolor Portraits Painted on the Streets of Los Angeles by Mary Heussenstamm – Paperback: 110 pages Publisher: Heussenstamm Press (September 6, 2000)

Mary Heussenstamm was born in 1930 in Southern California. After becoming a registered nurse, she retired at age 59 to devote herself fulltime to mastering the art of watercolor portraiture. Entirely self-taught, even her earliest portraits revealed a truly extraordinary gift. In 1994 she won the Artist of the Year Award from the Pasadena Arts Council, and in that same year the Pasadena Artist Alliance selected her as Artist-In-Residence at Pasadena City College. Her first book, Multiethnic Watercolor Portraits, sold out in less than 3 years.

Jan Kunz Watercolor Techniques: Painting Children's Portraits (Workbook 2) by Jan Kunz – Paperback, Publisher: North Light Books (September 1991)


Painting People by Burt Silverman – Hardcover: 142 pages Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications (1977)



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