2D Self Portrait Watercolor

Create a Watercolor (Selfie) Self-Portrait

Supplies Needed:

  • Camera (phone is recommended to instantly begin working)
  • Computer with Photoshop
  • Watercolor Paper
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Brushes
  • Water
  • Paper Towel
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

Step 1: Take a Million Selfies.

Step 2: Pick your Favorite and Upload to Computer. Open in Photoshop.

As shown above, you may choose to to edit your photo prior to printing it.  After opening my photo in Photoshop, (Image 1) I chose to experiment with Filters first (Image 2) then adjust the color (Image 3).  This is, of course, optional.  Once you’ve edited and/or framed out your photo, print it.  If you’re inexperienced when it comes to copying a drawing, I recommend printing your photo the same size as the canvas you plan on painting.

Step 3: Copy Your Drawing (Optional: Using a Grid)

If you’re fancy (or just up for a challenge), simply use your print as a guide while you draw your photo on your watercolor paper (Image 1).  If you’re a bit nervous about accuracy, feel free to use a ruler to create a grid on your photo (Image 2), then a grid on your watercolor paper.  Drawing within these smaller boxes can be extremely helpful when it comes to accuracy.

If you’ve never used a grid for drawing, the following resource may be helpful:


Step 4: Paint

Set up your work station with brushes, water, watercolor paint and a paper towel.  I prefer to use to cups of water, one for wetting my brush as I begin painting and another for washing the paint off my brushes in-between colors.

Step 5: Add Details with Pens, Markers, Paint Pens or Other Medium

For me, the eyes in my painting were lacking after just the watercolor.  To amp up the detail in this area, I added more detail with blue marker and a white paint pen.  While this is technically optional, I recommend it as it can give the painting a little something extra than just watercolor.  You may choose to focus on the lips, the hair, one eye, or anything else using any medium of your choice.  The possibilities are endless.

Above is a beautiful example of a watercolor portrait by Maryam Gaber.  More of her work can be found by following the link below:


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