Norah Atienza

Preserving the Whites

Class of: 2026

Major: Illustration BFA

Medium: Watercolor painting

Faculty: Alaiyo Bradshaw

Prompt: For this assignment, we were given a choice of mini sculptures to recreate on paper from life. The main idea was to learn how to “preserve the whites,” or to utilize the white of the paper as its own color (the highlights/brightest parts).

I chose to paint this sculpture of Frida Khalo since it was a beautiful sculpture and I love drawing portraits. The process consisted of me sketching the figure lightly before painting. I then began going in with tones on the face, painting from light to dark to build up layers (glazing). In order to create textures and details in the creases of her hair, I painted wet on dry with the smallest brush. I also painted the background with the wet on wet technique. It’s painted so that it’s not completely dark, with brush strokes still visible in order to make it appear more dynamic.