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Art Drawing Faces Painting People Portrait Watercolor

Quilt Lady in Watercolor

While I drew and painted her I thought of her as one of the Quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. In this post you can see my sketches, the reference photo, watercolor setup and my limited palette of 3 colors…

Quilt Lady, watercolor, 7×7”

While I drew and painted her I thought of her as one of the Quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, women who were direct descendants of the enslaved people who worked the cotton plantation there. I saw a traveling show of their quilts at a local museum years ago.

Reference Photo from J Hunsung

I painted this after watching master Korean watercolor artist J Hunsung paint her on YouTube here where you can also see his finished version. He doesn’t credit the photographer or model for this reference photo, which I also used for my painting.

Quilt Lady sketch 7×7”

It took three attempts to get the sketch right. I’m learning to take my time and get everything sketched in. And if things don’t quite fit together, fix it, don’t pretend it will be ok as is. Looking at my sketch compared to the reference photo below, I can see I still didn’t get it perfectly, but it felt close enough to go for it.

How I checked my sketch against the reference photo, side by side.
Initial block in

I was so pleased with these perfect flat washes in my initial block in that I had to share them. In watercolor, getting a flawless flat wash is not easy.

Uncropped painting with limited palette colors in the margin

With each watercolor painting, I’m experimenting with a different limited palette and then adding strokes of the colors used at the bottom of the painting. For this one I used Daniel Smith Quinacridone Gold, Winsor Newton Perylene Magenta, Daniel Smith Indanthrone Blue and a guest appearance in the jewelry only of Daniel Smith Perylene Scarlet. (I know it says DS Perylene on the painting but that’s a mistake.)

Watercolor set up with limited palette

I’m enjoying using fresh from the tube paint in a little porcelain palette instead of the ancient dried up old palette I had been using.

7 replies on “Quilt Lady in Watercolor”

Thanks Micaela. I’ve enjoyed seeing your beautiful portraits of children recently. I think painting children is the most difficult and I have two on deck to paint next-ish. Eeek.

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