The following images are taken from a portrait demonstration at DuCret School of Art on Tuesday March 10. The demonstration lasted for 3 hours and outlined a basic appraoch to painting a portrait. We discussed value relationships and color palette mixtures for flesh tones.
The first stage in beginning a portrait is to block in the figure or in this case the head with simple, geometric forms. It is a direct, painted sketch method with a sculptural approach in mind. This process is essential in capturing not only crucial relationships in form but the initial energy and impressions of your drawing. Here your observations want to be simplified by dividing the form into basic lights and darks. This initial process is done on a mid-toned gray panel and a thin mixture of burnt sienna and cobalt blue.
Once the painted sketch is completed and basic forms have been addressed, the next step is to lay in basic highlights.
This is a midpoint stage indicating not only the highlights but also the shadows that have been put into place.
Here I've begun to include background color blocking as well as the model's hair color. This is an important step in being able to address flesh tone relationships and the value shifting that occurs within the model. It is a great way to re-assess your color choices and values.
At this stage it is important to include half tones of warms and cool colors where the highlight and shadows meet.
I have begun to lay in the model's clothing here with a focus upon keeping it loose and gestural. You do not want to draw attention away from the face so it is important to keep your strokes soft and loose to create a focal point in the portrait.
And finally I will refine the portrait with some slight adjustments to color, value, etc.