Indian Girl Acrylic Portrait | Painting Process

Indian girl acrylic portrait painting process in photos and in a speed painting video.

My newest painting was inspired by photography of Indian children in traditional costumes and this Indian girl drawing by Janina Brandão. I took the reference photo of my niece, who is not Indian, and gave the painting an Indian feel by adding jewelry, make-up, bright colors and gold details (all that also aged her quite a bit, she was actually 4 years old in the reference photo). I'd love to paint someone of Indian origin someday, too (free reference photos are welcome). Watch the video to see a sped up version of the painting process in under 4 minutes (the painting part is actually less than 3 minutes, I sped this one up more than my previous videos). 




This Indian girl painting has been on my to do list for about a year. I took the reference photo and drew the sketch (using a grid) last winter, painted the background and edited the sketch into a coloring page last summer and finished the painting this month over 2-3 days. It's an acrylic painting on size A4 watercolor paper. I used a colored pencil for drawing eyelashes and some pattern details over (and under) acrylic paint. I painted the gold details with Mont Marte metallic acrylic paint, which gives the original painting a nice shine, when you look at it from certain angles.

Indian girl acrylic portrait painting process in photos and in a speed painting video.

I watched a couple of tutorial videos on how to mix skin tones with acrylics. I started with a brown underpainting with a lot of water as suggested in this skin tone painting video by Eric Francis. I painted over that with the actual skin color mix, which was white and red mixed together followed by some yellow and ochre and more white. I painted over the forehead, nose and cheeks with a lighter tone and added a redder tone for some parts as well.


Indian girl acrylic portrait painting process in photos and in a speed painting video.
Indian girl acrylic portrait painting process in photos and in a speed painting video.

Usually when I paint or craft, I have some background noise on and it's often an audio book. While making this painting, I was listening to Dan Brown's Deception Point (for the second time, I think, but it's been quite a few years since I last listened to it / read it). I also watched (or listened to) Leilani Joy's Paint Along while repainting the background. I didn't really think the background pattern through before drawing it on the painting with a colored pencil and it didn't look very neat so I painted over it and switched to a more simple pattern. 


Indian girl acrylic portrait painting process in photos and in a speed painting video.

A paint saving tip! I got this tip from Leilani Joy's videos and tried it for the first time with this painting. Instead of pouring and mixing paint on a palette, use little pots you can close. The paint won't dry out when the lid is closed. That way you don't have to waste leftover paint and you don't have to mix the same color again, when you come back to your painting later. I had actually gotten a couple of plastic pots for paint from school (like 10 years ago) and besides those I cleaned a few old face cream containers I had cleared out while decluttering the bathroom.


Indian girl acrylic portrait painting process in photos and in a speed painting video.
Indian girl acrylic portrait painting process in photos and in a speed painting video.
Indian girl coloring page + acrylic portrait painting process in photos and in a speed painting video.

I'll give the original painting to my niece, if she wants to have it. However, the coloring page of this painting is for sale in my Etsy shop and art prints and other print products are for sale in my Redbubble and Society6 shops. If you want to see more India inspired paintings, check out this blog post. And a previous watercolor painting of my niece can be found here.


Indian girl acrylic portrait painting process in photos and in a speed painting video.


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