Enchanting Portraits Merge Enigmatic Subjects With Ornate Patterned Backgrounds

Watercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia Bonati

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Enigmatic women become one with nature in the portrait paintings of Argentinian artist Sofia Bonati. She uses a combination of graphite pencils, watercolor, and gouache to render ethereal female figures in ornately patterned environments that are full of color and delicate details.

“I enjoy capturing human emotions through figure paintings,” she tells My Modern Met. “I find it easier to express myself through this theme.” All of the young women—most of whom are based on models or the artist herself—stare unabashedly at the viewer with neutral but open expressions. Their bodies are adorned with garments that compliment the arrangement of flora and abstract shapes behind them.

“I love nature, and I'm lucky that I live in the UK where the countryside is very accessible,” Bonati continues. “I love to visit gardens and woodlands and see the season's colors.”  Most of her art begins with a pencil sketch of the subject that the artist gently shades to give the face and body some dimension. Then, she uses watercolor, gouache, and sometimes colored pencils to surround the figure with a pleasing color palette—sometimes adding a swipe of pink to the lips and cheeks of the women to bring them to life.

You can purchase original art via Bonati's website, pick up prints and merch at her Society6 shop, and keep up to date with her latest watercolor art by following her on Instagram.

Argentinian artist Sofia Bonati captures feminine subjects in graphite and watercolor portrait paintings.

Watercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiWatercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia Bonati

Each one features a woman surrounded by an intricately patterned background that is inspired by nature.

Watercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiWatercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiWatercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiWatercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiWatercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiWatercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiWatercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiWatercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiWatercolor and Graphite Portrait Paintings b Sofia BonatiSofia Bonati: WebsiteSociety6Instagram | Behance

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Sofia Bonati.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.
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