Watercolor Critique: "Sofie"

by Nora Velastegui Pettersson, 2004, watercolor, 22 x 18.

The artist has created an engaging portrait of a young woman. I especially like the simplicity of the nose and the mouth. The forehead has a great sense of roundness. Parts of the hair could be less linear, and this adjustment would put more attention on the face and delicate shadows that fall on the head. The texture of the hair does not need to be eliminated; there should just be less contrast between some of the strands of hair, especially on the left side of the painting.

There is not much of the blue shirt showing in this composition. Small shapes such as this do not require modeling, so I would like to see it presented more unified in value and slightly darker.

The original painting, with the critics suggested adjustments.

About the Critic

Dawn Whitelaw has studied painting with Scott Christensen, Cedric Egeli, Jim Pollard, and Everett Raymond Kinstler. In 2002 she received the Award of Excellence and Best of Show in an international competition sponsored by the Portrait Society of America, and she has exhibited her portrait, landscape, and still life paintings in juried shows organized by the Cumberland Society of Painters, the American Academy of Women Artists, and the Phoenix Historical Museum.

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About BrianRiley

Brian Riley is the managing editor for the American Artist family of titles (American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing & Workshop) and has been part of the AA team since 2003. He first became interested in art as a child, specifically drawing, but drifted away from the visual arts as he grew older, gravitating towards writing while in college. His position at AA has offered him the opportunity to reinvigorate his early passion and continue his education.  

One thought on “Watercolor Critique: "Sofie"

  1. Great job with the smile and the eyes and the whole face..the stripes over the eye bother me a little..and the hair could be softer and whispier..you really do have a talent for faces…