Watercolour portrait of an older lady

Edna Genoe WIP

Hi Matt, this is Caitlin.

My neighbour has asked me to paint a picture of her mum to give to her as a gift. My direction was to “keep it soft” in terms of colour and style. However my scanner has made it even lighter than real life.

Since the lady in the picture will be the one who recieves it, I want her to feel that it is flattering. So I’d like guidance please on how far to “push” the painting.

I know the skin looks younger than she is. How far would you go with adding wrinkles and sun spots?

How is the form of the face? Would you do any more shadows or highlights?

Her right eyebrow (on our left) is a bit wonky, you can really only see the top bit. I don’t think it would look good if I painted it exactly. What would you do?

I’m struggling with the lips. They’re smiling, but only just. Maybe they’re a bit narrow too? How would you go forward?

Is the nose defined enough?

I’d really appreciate it if you could answer all of the questions I have asked.

Any other feedback is welcome too.

Thanks very much


Posted on

May 4, 2020

1 Comment

  1. Caitlin Brown


    I also made the eyes a tad more symetrical, I thought they would look too different if painted exactly like the reference at this size.

    The head is about 2 inches by 3 inches in size.

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