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2hrs+ Workshop: Expressive Portrait in watercolour with Stephie Butler

Join professional artist, Stephie Butler to paint an expressive portrait in watercolour. This was filmed live on 27th Aug 2020.

Stephie will show you how to paint portraits in watercolour, full of colour, with an impressionistic feel, making your work unique. You will focus on the face, how to portray feelings and emotions in your subject, using colours that deviate from the norm. How to paint with instinct alongside technique, Stephie assures us it’s easier than it sounds.

This style can take many layers and hours to complete, but Stephie will share with you the techniques to complete each stage, enabling you carry on in your own time. She will cover some basic composition and drawing points but the emphasis will be on painting, so please have a drawing prepared. This doesn’t have to be perfect and only requires a very basic sketch. The less drawing the looser your painting will be and this is all about learning. 

The photos below will print on A4 size. You can make it larger if your wish but Stephie recommends this size for workshops. She works on 1/2 sheets approx (22in x 15in) to have plenty freedom to work and make crop decisions when the work is finished. 

The reference photo, guidance on composition and a possible drawing are attached to help you prepare for the class.

You can watch the video of the live session by clicking the unlocked video below. If it isn't unlocked, you can purchase it by visiting the shop here:

See video, reference picture, materials required and paintings received below.

Workshop Video (to unlock this video, purchase here)

(If you have paid to unlock the video but still can't see it showing, please contact us)

Reference photo:


Materials Required

• Reference photo. You can use your own or follow the one I will be painting from. Good size clear photo with nice open eyes, preferably a black and white photo. 

• 1/2 sheet Watercolour paper NOT/CP surface ( I use Arches 140lb)

• Masking fluid

• 2 pots of water

• Pallet for mixing washes.

• Kitchen towel or similar. 

Masking tape to fix your paper to the board or your own preference. 

Stephie works at an easel that is almost upright. Please do what you feel comfortable with, but you do need your board to be at an angle. 

Watercolour paints:

• Aureolin (yellow)

• Permanent Rose

• Cerulean Blue

• Cobalt Blue

• Ultramarine Blue ( I’ve kept these to a minimum but if you have any other tube pinks and mauves available then you can use these to experiment) 

Brushes: These are a guide to sizes that Stephie will use, any around these sizes will be fine. • A wash brush of medium size.

• Large round 12/14

• Medium round 6/8

• Rigger 3

Plus other odd brushes occasionally on the backgrounds, such as larger flats which are both sable and synthetic. It’s good to have them to hand if you have any.


Paintings sent in to us:



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