A Shade of Grey: A Watercolor Portrait Class

I am not sure if it is my fascination for dark colors or the vividness of artist Ayeza Mallari’s paintings that made me decide to join her workshop. It was my first time to experience a watercolor workshop using only one color. Yes, one color! Payne’s Grey to be exact. And we had to create different shades to achieve this (see below) kind of painting:

1A Shade of Grey

I was really nervous and excited at the same time as the workshop date drew close. I was never the artistic type, but I am so in love with art and the process of creating that’s why I immerse myself from time to time on different mediums. So being part of Ayeza’s workshop is something I looked forward to. It will be something different, something new, and something challenging for me. Though I am not gifted with “artistic” hands, I was eager to learn and discover new tricks that day.


I felt comfortable the moment I stepped into Fullybooked, BGC. Being surrounded by silence and books made the venue perfect for this kind of activity. Ayeza was really warm and greeted everyone with a shy smile. Each of us received a workshop kit which included everything we needed for that day.

I especially love the step-by-step mini book that she created, something I can still use once the workshop was done. It is so detailed and will tell you exactly what to do.

We did some drills during the first part of the workshop. It was like a refresher for those who are already into watercolor. But the next part was my favorite and the challenge I was waiting for, shading! Oh my! I didn’t know one color could produce 10 more shades!


Ayeza helped all of us every step of the way. She was really hands on and took her time giving us tips and helping us come up with better paintings.

10Everyone so immersed

The process was really challenging! But the use of one color made everything really interesting and made me anxious to see the outcome.

7Ayeza doing a demo on how she does an eye

Ayeza also taught us how to achieve realistic eyes. One of the hardest body parts to master! But she kept reminding us that constant practice will give us better portraits.

8It’s all about the details

5Showing us how to mix

14All smiles as we show our “creations” for the day!

This workshop allowed us to see and experience a different side of watercolor, something I never thought I’d venture into, but this session inspired me to come up with better and more detailed paintings.

Check out Ayeza Mallari’s works and upcoming workshops on Facebook at Art of Ayeza: