Portrait of Nina Tutorial

The following digital painting tutorial was done in Corel Painter IX. It was painted by looking at the reference photo as if the model was sitting in front of me. The result is what spoke to me at the time I painted her.

About 3.5 hours to complete.


Step 1: Sketch


This time I did a sketch of the portrait. Sometimes I start painting right away without a sketch but I felt that I needed to sketch this particular portrait. The sketch was done with a 2B pencil.

Step 2: Adding Basic Colors


I started blocking in some basic neutral color to start getting the feeling of the shape of her face and what I wanted to express. This time, I used the Wet Soft Acrylic brush.

Step 3: Adding Vibrant Colors


I started to block in some vibrant colors alternating between the Wet Soft Acrylic brush and the Acrylic Dry Brush for some scumbling.

Step 4: Detailing and Blending


I started to define some details on the face, like the eyes, nose and mouth. And also started to block in the background colors. At this stage, I also used the Soft Blender Stump to blend a little where different colors met.

Step 5: More Vibrant Colors


I continued to add more colors in different locations and again, to the arm, alternating between the previously mentioned brushes.

Step 6: Even more Vibrant Colors (I love them!)


I continued working on the background colors and adding some more contrasting colors to the skin to do some scumbling with more vibrant colors.

Step 7: Using the Acrylic’s Dry Brush to Blend


I wasn’t happy with the background, so I added more dynamic colors to match the portrait itself. Look how her forehead has many colors that were added by scumbling with the Acrylics’ Dry Brush.

Step 8: Shadows and Eyebrows


Some purple shades were added to shadow areas of the face. The eyebrows were also corrected at this stage.

Step 9: The Hair


At this stage, I added the hair, since I was finally happy with the background colors.

Step 10: The Eyes


In this step I worked on the eyes’ details and reflections.

Step 11: Corrections


To finalized the portrait, I corrected her mouth so that it would appear as if she was biting her lower lip.