Man in a Tutu?


 The Renaissance Man? was such an interesting character!

Here are a few steps.

This is a watercolor on 300 lb. paper.

The underpainting is the start. I begin with blocking the face and hands of the man and his doll with contact paper. Yes, I use the contact paper a lot, but for me it is the best result. I wet the paper using a large hake brush and clean water.

I decide on girly colors (it is a man in a dress, after all) brushing and pouring on. The paint set slightly. I can still see a sheen, then throw table salt across the painting. Leaving the salt to absorb the paint, I leave it overnight. Sometimes it works, this time I love the results.

Next, I define my shape by painting around and in. I lightly paint some shadows. I will darken these later. The detail on the ruffles is my start, which takes hours and I’m really ready to  go onto something else.

Sorry, I filled in all the details, but this lesson is on the underpainting. You see I use white gouache sometimes mixed with watercolor paint for the man’s tutu the hat, doll’s skirt and hat, the edge of the wings, and the letters on the bench.



© 2011 by Kathryn Marks. All rights reserved


About Kathryn Marks

I'm a watercolor artist , but my most recent paintings are acrylic and watercolor acrylic collage. I love to paint bright rich colors with dark contrasts © 2019-2020 by Kathryn Marks. All rights reserved


  1. I enjoyed meeting him at the last Renaissance Festival. I’m so glad I didn’t miss that opportunity, as my husband and I were headed to the exit gates. I love his character and am so happy that you think I captured it. Thank you, Cali!

  2. As a person who knows this man personally, I would like to let you know that this is glorious. You have captured this character so perfectly. Beautiful work! – Cali

  3. Marisa M.

    I found your step by step description of your painting more than interesting, very helpful
    on the developing of this work. Thanks for sharing.

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