Explorations in faces, mark making and watercolour

portrait painting by Wen's Paint

Hello creative friends,

These last weeks I really dove into some art classes. And I plan to that the coming half year or so. Exploring, experimenting, learning, growing.

One of the things I did was drawing a whole lot of faces. I tried a drawing in black and white on brown paper, because I love how the old masters did that when doing studies for their paintings.

I also learned to paint a portrait in a different way then I was used to, following a lesson by Donna Downey. First a quick sketch in watered down acrylic paint, then mapping the shadows and light parts of the face, roughly. And after that you go on with smoothing and detailing. I'm really happy with the result (see above). (I later saw that the light on the chin looked a bit weird. I changed that and took a new photo.)

portrait drawing by Wen's Paint

And then there was this exercise in the art class Supplies Me by Jane Davenport. It was a lesson in the use of gesso. You start out with random texture and mark making. Then you paint over some parts of it with black gesso, leaving out a couple of spots of the under-layer. And then you try to make something out of that. I thought this was such a fun lesson and was surprised by the fun result I got, see below.

whimsical painting by Wen's Paint

Speaking of mark making, I also played with inks and wax crayons, following a lesson by Tracy Verdugo. I had tried to use inks before and only made a mess. So I was a bit apprehensive at first with this lesson. But I got such cool results this time, that I just kept on going, haha!

mark making by Wen's Paint

Next, I followed some watercolour lessons by Nicola Blakemore. We painted a couple of apples first.

watercolour apple by Wen's Paint

I was so happy with playing with watercolour paints, that I also followed along with a video on youtube by  Lindsay Weirich, which you can find here. Here's my result:

Besides all the lessons I followed, I did a whole lot of drawing and painting just for fun.

Here's another one of the paintings I made for a lesson by Donna Downey, a bouquet of bright happy flowers. The lesson was on complementing colours.

flowers painting by Wen's Paint

Honestly, you learn so much by following online art classes by a variety of teachers! I can highly recommend it. And I found a couple of very good and inspiring teachers, some I haven't even mentioned yet, but I'm very sure they will be in future posts. So, stay tuned :)

I hope seeing my art journey helps you to go explore too and find the art teachers that really speak to your heart. You will learn so much and will grow your creative soul. Don't be afraid to walk new paths, you will surprise yourself and will really find YOU in your art journey!

Me? I'm noticing that at my tropical soul is coming to the foreground more. My grandpa was from Indonesia and as a child I was surrounded by Indonesian food, music, dances, and so on. Funny to watch how this upbringing is flooding my creative journey at the moment :)

Enough talk, wishing you a beautiful day!

xx Wen


  1. Hello dear friend, so many classes and so many amazing results, of very different character .
    It must be so fun, to really try all these different method`s Wen.
    I`m all in love with your portraits, and especially the one on brown paper, is fabulous, as is your apple, and the flowers too. Your women have such soulful eyes!!
    Dear friend, I wish you a beautiful weekend, and hope you feel happy.
    Love and hugs, Dorthe

    1. Thank you so much sweetie, yes it is giving me such pleasure! Big hugs xx

  2. You are doing a fantastic job with all your paintings, I do love the face against the brown background and your flowers are just beautiful! So happy you are enjoying something you have wanted to try!

    1. Thank you so much dear Connie :) xx

  3. Such a lovely array of paintings. What fun.
    I love the lady’s face against the brown background too, and the lovely colour combos.