100 PORTRAITS IN 100 DAYS -Fotina, 22/100
This lady is from Greece. It looks like a flash photo, but I thought it would be a good one to show a step by step evolution of the painting. For purchase information on this portrait, please see my website.
I'm showing several stages of this painting, so you can see my painting process. I've already covered support and photo preparation in an earlier post. After I have a 4x4 print made, I use an inexpensive projector to locate key features of the face on the panel. I COULD spend several minutes drawing the face by hand, but the projector is a huge time saver. At the rate I'm painting these portraits, time is of the essence. The projected image is usually pretty blurry, but is does show where everything is. The bottom picture shows the sketch of the image.
The next step is fill in details with a small brush loaded with red oxide (in this example). This step also identifies the lights and darks of the painting. It is critical at this point to make sure important aspects of the face are in the right location - eyes, nostrils, edges of the mouth, ears, etc. On a 6x6 painting, an eighth of an inch mistake is huge.
At this point, I have to decide what colors I'm going to use - will it be fairly traditional coloring like this one, or something wilder? I usually start with the highlighted area and the eyes. Then I just keep refining the image until I'm satisfied with it.
Each portrait takes about three hours. Stepping away from the finished portrait for a little bit is very important. I go read some email or eat lunch. When I come back and see the painting with fresh eyes, I always see some minor (or occasionally major) adjustments that need to be made.
Last step is to photograph the painting, catalog it on my computer, and post it on my blog.
I won't say I could do these in my sleep, but I think I AM getting better at it. : - )