For this painting I first put a brownish wash over the gessoed
kill down the bright whiteness, which can sometimes make it difficult to judge
your values against. Next, I used a bristle brush to sketch out the
proportions of Susan's features. Once this is done, I start painting
in the eye, which will be the center of interest.
As I move onto each new area, the key is to first start out
with the larger
shapes and slowly move to smaller and smaller detail. If you are to put in the
first (such as the nostril rather than the dark plane under the nose) you will
forced to paint around those details rather than getting those gutsy underlying
that will give the painting life.
As I move into the shadow areas of the face I constantly
squint at the subject
and compare the dark tones to the light areas to make sure that I get the new
values in the proper relation to those that I've already put down.
With the face mostly finished, I now block in the shapes of
As my teacher Mr. Parks used to tell us constantly, "Don't go any faster
than you can with accuracy!" Because everything in a painting is cumulative
interdependent, one mistake will lead to a whole series of later errors if not
Here's the finished painting.
And a close-up of the face.
Back to thumbnails