GUEST ARTIST: Painterly Faces

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Danielle Mack - butterfly crown - #doodlewash

Hello, my name is Danielle Mack, a mixed media artist living and working in Augusta, Georgia.  Watercolor hasn’t always been my favorite medium, but I’ve grown to love its complexities.  My art journey started at a young age and stayed with me off and on until finally, I was able to study Fine Art in college.

It opened a window for me to explore, learn, and grow as an artist.  I had a hard time in art school because it was much harder than I imagined.  It wasn’t all rainbows and fairies, it was hard work, feeling like I didn’t fit in, and lots of self-discovery. After college, I was burnt out and I didn’t know what was next.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Danielle Mack - quick sketch - #doodlewash

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Danielle Mack - confidence - #doodlewashI went on to work in cubical city.  I worked a desk job for a few months and after a while, I felt recharged again.  I started art journaling in acrylics to get my creative juices flowing.  Mixed media helped me let go of all of the rules and expectations I had set up in my head and just explore what made me happy.  

The more I played, the more I noticed how faces kept coming up in my work.  I had only drawn a few faces in college so I didn’t have a lot of experience.  Every chance I got I would illustrate faces.  I liked the features and personality of each character. 

Once I joined the natural hair movement, my girls started to get afros, head wraps, and dreadlocks which was really exciting.  I wanted the faces that looked back at me to reflect women of color.  

I started using watercolor regularly about a year ago.  The more I painted the looser my brushstrokes became.  I think that also came with practice and confidence as well.  I like to find my shadows first and work my way around the painting, drying each layer before moving to the next.  Often times, I like to include words or journaling in my paintings.  If I’m feeling a certain way or have a lot on my mind those thoughts end up on the page.

I use Prima Marketing Pastels & Tropicals WatercolorsDr Ph. Martin’s India Ink, and Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers.  I enjoy using the Canson XL Watercolor paper pads and Masters Touch watercolor brushes.  When I’m on the go, I like to use Jane Davenport’s water brushes for convenience.

I hope to get brave enough to start asking people on the street to model for my portraits.  Whenever I travel, I see such interesting faces and wish I could paint them.  I’ve started with friends and family for practice even if the portrait doesn’t look like them I hope to one day begin to capture the essence of my subjects. 

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor painting by Danielle Mack - statement earrings - #doodlewash

I love to share my process with others on Youtube and via classes on Etsy.  I’m currently working on the 100 faces challenge this year on my Instagram page you can watch my progress there.

Danielle Mack

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on, contact me!

Recommended2 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
  1. L.E. Hunt 10 months ago

    I love the hair. Good job 😀

    • Danielle Mack 10 months ago

      Thank you so much!

  2. dkatiepowellart 10 months ago

    Love the story, love the faces. I visited your YouTube page and will peruse….

    • Danielle Mack 10 months ago

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed!

  3. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 10 months ago

    Danielle, your expressive portraits of women are stunning and gorgeous. I like the way you play with color or often experiment with values. You wrote of something I think bothers many people – the burn out at the end of college. It’s hard to find your place and your passion when all your life has been so directed. Best wishes on discovering all your passions.

    • Danielle Mack 10 months ago

      Thank you Sharon, I feel blessed to get an art education but it was tough. Thank you for your well wishes!

  4. Damita M-S 10 months ago

    I love your work. You provided me with inspiration. Thank you!

    • Danielle Mack 10 months ago

      I’m so glad you feel inspired Damita!

  5. Carol 10 months ago

    Beautiful work! You do such a great job with hair and expressions!!

    • Danielle Mack 10 months ago

      Thank you Carol!

  6. nkvorka 10 months ago

    I have been following you for awhile, I love your work. Great to see you here.

    • Danielle Mack 10 months ago

      Thank you so much for your support!

  7. TheWorryGames 10 months ago

    I love your work. I love how each woman has different hair…her own look. Beautiful.

    • Danielle Mack 10 months ago

      Thank you – painting the hair is the best part!

  8. Ellie 10 months ago

    Love, love, love your faces. I am trying to expand the faces I create and you are truly inspiring.

    • Danielle Mack 10 months ago

      Thank you Ellie!

  9. Anjana 10 months ago

    The eyes of all the girls are different. It looks like all of them have different stories to say. Beautiful!!

    • Danielle Mack 10 months ago

      Thank you Anjana, they really keep me going!

  10. The Snarking Giraffe 8 months ago

    These are stunning and a pleasure to view. I love the diversity as well.

  11. Teri Casper 4 months ago

    Your faces have so much wonderful personality.

  12. MMcBuck 4 months ago

    Thanks for the inspiration! I love faces too! Yours are awesome.

  13. Sharon Nolfi 4 months ago

    These are lovely portraits!

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