This is a watercolor rendition of a photograph by Dani Olivier. Dani is a French photographer whose nude portraits are simply captivating. His choice to project light patterns on (admitted) one of my favorite subjects, the female body, often yields amazing results.

My process:

First I determine where I want the brightest, warmest portion of the painting to be. In this case, it is the upper left portion of the painting.

Then I applied a wash that centered on that warmest portion and formed a gradient diagonally to the bottom right corner of the paper. This was determined by the position of the model, and the clear sense of movement suggested by her pose.

Over that wash, I sketched in the bright bands of light, and masked them.

When the masking was dry, I painted the ‘medium’ tones, next to the bright stripes of light. I did not include any medium tones in the flat background or foreground areas.  When the medium tones were dry, I masked over those as well.

The last major painting step is my favorite. I get to wet the remainder of the paper (all the unmasked areas) and apply layers of paint , letting the colors run and blend by turning the paper and applying more paint.

Some blotting and re-wetting may be in order to refine the color patterns.

When I am satisfied, I leave the work to dry. The masking is removed after the painting has completely dried. At this point, it is entirely possible that the entire work may be discarded if I don’t care for it.

Luckily this was not the case with this work. After a few corrections and touch-ups, the work is finished.

I believe that this type of nudity to be both sensual and tasteful. I hope you enjoy it. I would like to do a few more of these Dani Olivier photos. There are lot’s of fun, and I love the subject matter.

This 11x17 watercolor is based on a Dani Olivier photograph.

This is a painting of a Dani Olivier photograph.