Process for Watercolor Paintings of Mary Pregnant with Jesus and Mary, Mother of God
As the end of year arrives and we focus on Mary and her entry into motherhood, I felt the urge to paint more Marian art.
What a beautiful story Mary’s is and I love to contemplate what the experience of being pregnant and giving birth to the Son of God was like for Her.
Before becoming a mother myself, I never understood or cared about all the stuff related to Mary’s own journey, not only of being the Mother of God, but also as an ordinary mother. The amount of worry, anticipation, strength, trust but also immense joy of being a mom was something that I didn’t expect.
Now that I am a mom and know how very powerful and valuable the experience of motherhood is, I feel a deeper appreciation when I reflect on Mary’s experience.
Not only do I enjoy reflecting on ordinary motherhood as well as Mary’s extraordinary experience, but also, I appreciate the reminder, as the year closes, of how God saves us by sending us his son in the most humble of ways.
Anyhow, here are two paintings I worked on as the year came to the end.
Mary Pregnant with Jesus
In this first painting, I wanted to paint Mary in the fullness of her pregnancy. I can imagine the excitement and perhaps worry she felt as the time drew near.
And yet, not knowing exactly how and when everything would happen, Mary, like all pregnant moms, had to trust that everything would be just as it needed to be.
What joy Mary expresses in accepting her pregnancy and doing what God asks of her, even though the reality of it all may have been so difficult.
For this painting, I read the Magnificat for inspiration.
The watercolor palette that I used in this painting and the next was the Bianyo 36 Colors Watercolor Palette.
I based the painting off of these two photos.
I traced the photo of the pregnant model onto my watercolor paper and hand drew Mary’s garment using the statue as a reference.
For Mary’s skin, I used the color flesh as the base. For shading I used burnt sienna, burnt umber, and Vandyke brown. On the gown, I used grey, shamrock, and turquoise. For darker shadows I used black. Lastly, for the halo, I used the color gamboge.
And here’s the finished painting.
I felt a little stiff when I was painting this picture. There was a part of me that felt inhibited, as though I wanted everything to be perfect. As a result, I felt that the painting was too simple and safe.
At the same time, I liked the humble simplicity of it.
Nevertheless, for the next painting, I wanted to experiment and relax more. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t painting for anyone and that I’m still learning, therefore, there were no rules and I could do whatever I wanted.
Mary, Mother of God
I love David Mack’s artwork and I wanted to try incorporating some of his style into my own. So I selected a piece of his art to use a reference.
I also found a photo of a statue of Mary holding baby Jesus that I thought was really beautiful. Thus, I used this photo as the main reference.
On my Bianyo 36 Colors Watercolor Palette, I used the colors flesh, peach, burnt sienna, burnt umber, vandyke brown, yellow ochre, black, cerise, and shamrock for painting Mary and Jesus. For the background I used violet, cerise, shamrock, turquoise, and yellow ochre.
Here’s the final painting.
My husband thought this second painting looked as though I had come straight out of art school! I have to admit that I had much more fun painting this one. I was also able to paint it in much less time because I wasn’t as worried about it being perfect.
While painting this piece, I listened to Jordan’s Smith’s version of Mary, Did You Know?, which helped me to meditate on Mary’s journey. He does such an awesome rendition of the song it makes me tearful whenever I listen to it.
I hope you enjoyed these two new paintings.
Happy New Year and best wishes to you and your family!
If you’re interested in seeing more Marian art, check out the first Marian painting I completed for this blog. It was a May Crowning piece. I had just started watercolor painting and was fresh from watching YouTube videos on how to paint loose watercolor florals.