People always ask who I am painting.

Sometimes, its a friend, sometimes its a commission, sometimes it’s a portrait for someone’s special someone.

Sometimes it’s a photo shoot from vogue, a cover from W Magazine, or a selfie that catches my eye on instagram. I don’t really know why I paint what I paint, I just do what I do because I really LOVE it. 

My phone is obsessively filled with about 6000 screen shots of inspiration that I flip through when the feeling is right and the paints are all set up. There is so many beautiful things I want to paint, the possibilities are endless.

Recently, A friend asked me how I do it. How do I paint? So, I wanted to share my first step by step on my @artofmarina instagram page. Then I decided to further explain what I did to get what I got, blog style. I’ll get to a video one of these days.

First things first, sweet Inspiration.

It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling. I love when I get it. I can’t sit still, my mind goes BAM.

I got that exact, happy, fidgety feeling when I saw this photo in a magazine. It’s a gal named Daisy Lowe. She’s an english Model and as it turns out she’s Gavin Rossdale’s daughter. (Bush’s frontman, Mr.Gwen Stefani) You can read more about how awesome and adorable she is here and here.

Wow. I thought. It’s a perfect place to start. She is pretty…. (Isn’t she? OMG!) 

So Lets get started!

Step One. Light sketch. I use a soft pencil usually and F or an HB, on Arches art board.

Art board is heavy and it’s hot press, so it’s smooth. Smooth is easier to erase the pencil marks. I learned this later in the game.

Once I have a basic sketch (I only sketch when I am painting someone in particular to get my proportions correct) If not specific, I freestyle.


For Colour Palette, I decided to go natural and tonal, A natural skin tone, a Burnt Sienna and a Payne’s Grey. I make my own flesh tint mixing Burnt Sienna, White and a touch of Bengal Rose, sometimes I’ll mix in some Naples Yellow. I always use windsor and Newton watercolour and Windsor and Newton gouache.

First things first, I get my brush really wet and pour the paint tip along the surface keeping my borders in mind from the light pencil as a marker. That is all.



Step Two. After the first coat is totally dry, usually about 30 mins. I mix a little flesh tint with some Payne’s Grey and more BurntSienna if it feels right. I always use paper towel and palette to test my brushes. Then I dip my brush, blot and paint the next layer of colour to enhance the dimensions.

Step Three: Same idea, just a little more depth. Neckline, eyes, eyelashes.

And Finally, the darkest tones, Step Four. Lashes, black of eyes, (it’s all about the eyes) and my favourite – add a custom print. So I decided to go animal and paint drippy Leopard style paint spots onto her jacket. 

And Voila! Just like that – she’s done. I could go on and on and do more layers, but I think she is all complete. The Dark brown spots remind me of Chocolate, so I decided to name her Daisy Cocoa.

I Hope you like my tutorial! Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions.