Watercolor Portraits: Capture a Model's Personality

A course by Michele Bajona
Contemporary Figurative Artist. Mexico City, Mexico.
Joined July 2020
, Contemporary Figurative Artist

Discover the world of watercolors by learning to paint striking and realistic portraits with a live model

  • 100% positive reviews (215)
  • 4457 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch

Discover the world of watercolors by learning to paint striking and realistic portraits with a live model

  • 100% positive reviews (215)
  • 4457 students
  • 17 lessons (3h 12m)
  • 25 additional resources (11 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

There is something idyllic about the way watercolors playfully permeate the white space. Michele Bajona, a contemporary figurative artist and master in his trade, beautifully portrays the essence of his subjects through his captivating work with watercolor.

Michele teaches all there is to know about the basics of color theory and watercolor techniques. He goes in-depth about brush strokes, composition, and structure. However, there is also a spiritual component to the process, which captures the energy of the model and transmits it through his artwork. He concludes the course with the final project of painting a real sitter.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparations and Basic Concepts
  • U3
    U3. Discovering and Applying Color
  • U4
    U4. Let's Paint Our Portrait
  • U5
    U5. Final Touches
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

The course begins with a run through of Michele’s remarkable career. He shares his creative journey spanning from architecture to watercolors, and from Italy to Mexico. Michele discusses his major influences, which have helped him shape his unique style.

Throughout the lessons, concepts like tonal values in monochrome, anatomy, and proportion are taught. You will then be ready to put brush to paper and hone your skills by painting a skull from reference.

Michele elucidates on gradient washes, watercolor techniques, and properly rendering facial features for an expressive portrait. As he mentions, the most important feature of the portrait is the eye—the window to the soul.

The final project of the course is a segmented walkthrough of how to paint a live model. It begins with preparation and composition, and getting to know your subject. The following step is defining structure and gestures. Finally, add color and detail to the painting to bring your artwork to life.

Once you have completed your portrait, Michele teaches you how to properly preserve it and choose the correct frame.

What is this course's project?

Capture the essence of your subject by painting a real sitter in a three-hour live session.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

For lovers of art and painting. It’s great for absolute beginners, but also for experienced painters who want to improve on watercolor techniques or painting real sitters.

Requirements and materials

Some drawing experience is helpful although not crucial. No prior knowledge of watercolors is necessary.

For this course, you’ll need watercolor paper, a variety of watercolor brushes (round tip, one fine, one medium, one big, and a flat synthetic brush for corrections), and, of course, watercolors. You’ll also need a plastic palette with spaces to mix tones, containers for water, blue tape or a clip to attach to a rigid support, and last but not least, paper towels.


4457 Students
215 Reviews
100% Positive ratings
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Michele Bajona

A course by Michele Bajona

Teacher Plus
Contemporary Figurative Artist

Michele Bajona is an architect-turned-painter whose artwork has been exhibited throughout America and Europe. He attended the Art Student League in New York City, and is a member of Cercle Artistic de Sant Lluc in Barcelona. He currently resides in Mexico City, where he continues to paint and teaches art. He has given masterclasses at Museums and cultural Institutions.

In addition to solo and collective exhibitions across the globe, he won the first prize for best video documentary at the 54th Venice Art Biennial, Padiglione Italia.


  • U1


    • About Me
    • Influences
  • U2

    Preparations and Basic Concepts

    • Anatomy and Proportions 2
    • Anatomy and Proportions 1
    • Lights and Shadows, Tonal Values.
    • Materials
  • U3

    Discovering and Applying Color

    • Anatomy: The Eye 2
    • Anatomy: The Eye 1
    • Introducing Color
  • U4

    Let's Paint Our Portrait

    • Preparations and Composition
    • Gesture and Drawing Structure
    • Monochrome Washes
    • Applying Color 1
    • Applying Color 2
    • Features and Details
  • U5

    Final Touches

    • Preservation
    • Reviewing Our Portrait
  • FP

    Final project

    • Watercolor Portraits: Capture a Model's Personality

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus or PRO member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus or PRO member, when you complete a course you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates
Watercolor Portraits: Capture a Model's Personality. Illustration course by Michele Bajona

Watercolor Portraits: Capture a Model's Personality

A course by Michele Bajona
Contemporary Figurative Artist. Mexico City, Mexico.
Joined July 2020
  • 100% positive reviews (215)
  • 4457 students