Grace Mendez Tangled Hair Portrait

Make a Tangled Hair Portrait with Watercolor and Pen

Follow along with the video demo of how to make a tangled hair portrait with watercolor and pen.

Grace Mendez Tangled Hair Portrait Demo

You will need paper, a pencil, a pen, watercolors and a brush.

Start with the face and the pencil.

Lightly sketch the face. In case you want to make any adjustments, it will be a lot easier to erase a light line. You are making a loose painting and the focus is mostly on the tangled hair so the fewer details on the face while you sketch, the better.

I’m working in a Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Hardcover journal. Whatever paper that you use, make sure that it is strong enough for watercolor.

Switch to the pen to draw the hair. (I prefer theĀ Micron pen by Sakura.)

Draw the hair in sections so you know where to put in your patterns.

Use a mix of patterns. Create a balance between more structured or geometric patterns and organic or free-form patterns.

Paint the face with watercolors.

Use your watercolors in a light wash to bring out the feature of the face. Again, no need to add a lot of detail. The eye of the viewer will recognize it as a person and fill in the rest of the features, such as the chin, ears, neck, etc.

Shade the tangled hair with watercolors.

Grace Mendez Tangled Hair Portrait Comparison

With the watercolor, shade the tangles. You can see the difference between the unshaded and shaded images. The unshaded portrait looks very flat while the shaded version has dimension. Start light with your shading. You can always come back in and darken it.

Voila! Your tangled hair portrait is finished! Please share your portraits in the comments below.