This is a portrait of the lovely Kari Marrucchi, an Atlanta-based photographer I was fortunate to meet at last year’s Asheville Word Camp. She is an amazing photographer, and a pleasure to paint.

My process:

First, I determine where I want the brightest, warmest portion of the painting to be. In this case, it is the Kari’s lovely face.

I sketched in the light and dark areas of the image to define the shape of her face and the flow of her hair, then I  masked the light areas.

When the masking was dry, I painted the ‘medium’ tones.  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.


Watercolor portrait of Kari Marucchi

Kari Leigh Marucchi watercolor portrait