Anatomy of A Portrait, Part 1
I paint using a classical approach, following a technique developed centuries ago. One difference is that I prefer to tone my canvas with a blue-gray to start, rather than a more traditional earthtone (my foot helps show the size of this large 30×40 canvas).
I draw my composition onto this toned canvas in graphite, and then paint the whole thing using only very thinned-down raw umber. This establishes the lights and darks.
So, by the time I begin to paint with color, I have been over the entire thing twice, and am very familiar with my subject.
Anatomy of a Portrait, Part 2
Starting with the face, I now start setting color in and establishing the planes & angles. This is my favorite part, as it seems to emerge and come to life and it almost feels like sculpting at times. Pushing and pulling forward and back to set the form. I rarely have a good likeness at this stage, as is the case today.
Anatomy of a Portrait, Part 3