Painting My First Portrait in Acrylics

Did my first acrylic portrait ever last night. I started pretty late at night so I had terrible lighting for photos but I still took some progress shots and think it’s worth sharing 🙂

This is the second time I have used my Jo Sonja’s acrylics (you can find my first small painting on my instagram feed) and I’m beginning to build a bond with them. They are matte acrylic which makes them look a little gouache-like but I’m pleased and would love to see them painted onto a canvas with a varnish in the near future! 😉

Anyway, here’s my progression shots from drawing to first layers.

Portrait of a Girl - Progression p1

I drew the drawing a day or so ago on Watercolour Mont Marte Paper (190gsm) which is quite thin and low quality in terms of papers but I just wanted to experiment seeing as acrylics are more forgiving than gouache and watercolour. I went with an under colour of orange tones for the hair which was to go blondish.


It took me a good moment to work out what colour I was going use for my background. At first I thought a grey, maybe a brown, maybe some kind of unfinished look or something kind of classic oils (like vignettes) but I went with my tube of Ultramarine Blue Deep and tried to increase lightness and darkness from top to bottom which I could of done better but overall happy I went with BLUE! This provides a nice complimentary colour juxtaposition (orange/red to blue)

The artistic changed I made from my reference photo all worked out, which makes me wonder if I’m just having a lucky day or maybe I actually know a thing or two about painting LOL

I would of liked to have done more work in the arms but I also didn’t want to attract too much attention to them by leaving them a little under-done… Alas…



I’m happily surprised with this first portrait. I’m so happy the paper withstood the beating and that the colours provided some kind of harmony that I didn’t quite get with my first acrylic. Alas, I’m pretty eager to get moving onto another painting – perhaps an infant. But also perhaps on canvas? :O Ooooo, girl you fancy.

~Rae 😉

PS look out for more sketches sometime in the coming week! I will have more to share lovelies! ❤

Oh, and just a scary reminder. 11 days ’til Christmas  LOL

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