This is a portrait done of my youngest niece.
The photo reference is from my phone 3 years ago. At the time I thought it was a good photo, but when I looked at it on a bigger screen it didn’t quite have the same quality I thought it would.
Nevertheless, I made the best of it. I desaturated the colors in Photoshop and made a sharp monochromatic painting as I had desired.
I chose to use Alizarin Crimson watercolor on illustration board. Some of the benefits you will find are that the surface allows you to move the pigment around. Mistakes aren’t quite as big of a deal as they are on professional watercolor paper. With portraits, you want a shape defined by shadows. You also want stark blacks and whites with a wide range of middle grays. Really you could have the values be so distinct that you could cut them out as puzzle pieces. This is where line defines form and value.
Any questions or comments, please them below.