Eyes and Ears and Mouth and Nose

As you may have read in my previous blog post, I have been using my time in lockdown to learn how to paint decent portraits. Well, the odd snatched moment of time that is, when I'm not attempting to home school, feed, entertain or break up fights between my two children!

I started off in pencil sketches but I knew it wouldn't last long before I just had to pick up my paints. I thought that, rather than going for a whole portrait on the first go, I'd work on separate features to see how they worked in the paints first.

Eyes are an obvious first choice when it comes to the face. After all, they are the 'windows to your soul' and they contain so much of the character of a person. I decided my first attempt would be in watercolours as it's been a while since I used acrylics, plus I was working from the kitchen whilst the kids watched a film, so it was just less materials to bring down from my studio room!


Watercolour eye paintings by Anna Hughes, Anya's Studio


I had an absolute ball painting these and was so please with how they turned out. The colours were a lot more subtle than I'd usually go for and I worked slowly to build up the paint in layers. This also gave me confidence to move on to acrylics.


Eye roll acrylic painting, by Anna Hughes, Anya's StudioSurprised wide eye painting in acrylic paint by Anna Hughes Anya's Studio


I adore how dramatic my acrylic eyes turned out. I really tried to use the minimal amount of brush strokes and not overwork them. I chose only a few colours too - pink, orange, turquoise, prussian blue and white which complemented each other beautifully. 

Having felt like I'd conquered eyes I then moved onto lips, again choosing to work in watercolour first, after doing a few quick pencil sketches. 

Lip drawings and watercolour paintings, kiss and biting lip, by Anna Hughes, Anya's Studio


Lips were trickier than eyes due to there being less detail in then but they were actually really fun to do. Again I tried to work slowly with the watercolours to build the layers and I chose two very different expressions, one including teeth, to test my skills. The biting lip got such a good reception via my Instagram page that it sold straight away!

I probably should have worked on noses as well but I was just so keen to try my first full face in paint. I am ever the impatient painter!

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