Demo by Heidi Nelson –

Portraits of People, Places and Pets YOU Love!



Long time NorthStar member and President-elect Heidi Nelson demonstrated her signature portrait ability at our November 2016 meeting.

She first wet the paper explaining her view of the “four stages of wetness – puddly, shiny, satin, losing shine.”

Using a photo of her niece Molly she began the painting by glazing shadows with ultramarine blue being careful to integrate the figure with the background. She added darker shadows using a mixture of burnt umber with ultramarine and then suggested Molly’s blonde hair with raw umber.

After drying the paper Heidi added skin tones with a mixture of Indian yellow and quinacridone red to achieve a red-orange. If she were painting a child she would use purple undertones. Darker shadows were applied using permanent magenta and burnt umber.

Responding to an audience request, she worked on the teeth, barely indicating the shapes.When asked about her plan for the background, Heidi commented that she usually avoids sharp contrast, preferring to use analogous colors.

Although the full-sheet painting was far from done, Heidi’s painstaking process of careful glazing resulted in a glowing portrait. heidi-nelson-2789 heidi-nelson-2787 heidi-nelson-2792