Portrait Painting Stage Two

At this point I’ve hit everything with paint, and gotten it to a three value system with darks, mid tones and some lights, but not many. This is a handy tip for anyone interested in painting, as the values(lights/darks) are doing most of the work.  With this type of loose painting I’m working with broken color, meaning I’m not blending the paint as much as I usually do in some of my tighter work.  I like working this way because it allows the viewer to fill in some of the blanks; if the silhouette of my subject is believable then I can leave a lot of detail alone, and only go for areas that I’d like to use as focal points.  Here’s I’ve knocked in some color to represent a collar, but it’s starting to distract from the face, so I’ll have to go back and build up a few more lights in the forehead to help balance things out.  The lights on the forehead will be the most intense, and the rest of the highlights will be dimmed down as I move away from the forehead.  This should help create a believable and hopefully dramatic light source on the character.  One last note, you’ll notice the image is flipped from the original.  I do this a lot when painting digitally, flipping the image allows you to see all kinds of mistakes, and makes it easier to correct.  Again, it’s a fairly common trick, same thing as holding a sketch or traditional painting up to a mirror.

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