I recently was asked to paint a portrait for a friend of mine so I took photos along the way, I thought it would make a good WIP to show some of my methods of painting.
Firstly I have my Arches 300 gm medium paper stretched onto a board, my portrait drawn in with pencil and ref picture by my side, all ready to go.
I find it is crucial to my painting to have a good pencil sketch of my portrait. This is the accuracy which is so hard to fix if it is wrong after you have started to paint. So I always double check the portrait sketch before I paint to make sure it is as accurate as it can be.
the size of my painting is 30 by 30 cm.
I have favourite colours I usually always use for portraits, and as I go I tend to add a few more as needed. My palette is made up of mostly Winsor Newton.
With a mixture of Permanent Carmine and Winsor Blue (the green shade) I mix up a rather watery purple and start painting in the darker areas on the face.
I let this totally dry before I glaze in another layer. If I was to paint over this first layer when the paint was still wet, I will end up with muddied colours. The idea of glazing is to let each layer dry first, as this gives the finished painting a beautiful glow, and clean colours, some say is much like stained glass windows. I usually always glaze my skin tones, not working wet into wet all that much.
I then continue to build my foundation with darker purple on the darks and more Permanent Carmine on the skin tones. I paint in the eyes with a mixture of blues. Using the watery purple mixture I also paint in the back ground of the right side of her face, and I negatively paint in her hair.
My palette now has a mixture of different little puddles of colour I can use, as I painted her hair in I also used different mixtures, not just the purple. it is all about experimenting and learning as you go
I use the same purple mixture, this time a little stronger in colour to paint in the pattern for her swimwear, which is actually black. I never use black, but will mix colours that make "pretty " blacks. these colours are always colours I use in my painting. so here for the first layer of black I am using a mix of Winsor blue ( the green shade) and Permanent Carmine.
I have also painted in the flowers with Permanent Carmine.
Now I introduce Winsor Yellow and glaze over her skin tones where I feel it needs balancing out. I don't touch the highlights yet, rather leaving them the white of the paper. Paint in the yellow of her swimwear, and negative paint her hair with a purpley mixture I have used before.
I keep adding layers of skin tones using my main colours of Permanent Carmine, Winsor blue ( the green shade) and winsor yellow.
I have also added another layer to the black in her swimwear. This time I used a mixture of Winsor Green ( the blue shade) and Alizerin Crimson, which makes a lovely black... Be careful not to go too dark with your blacks too soon. A subtle black for now will do, and I can adjust it later if needed. it is hard to go back and make it less intense after you have already painted it in.
I paint in her lips with a watery mix of permanent carmine , then when it is dry I glaze over this, adding some Winsor Violet to give a slight depth. I only add a small amount as this is a very strong colour.
I will update tomorrow
hope I am explaining this ok, and feel free to ask me any questions along the way.