Friday, March 9, 2012

Vasanti, 12x16"

Hi Friends,
Several people have asked if I could show my painting process when painting from a model. This morning, I painted Vasanti at Mainstreet in a span of about 2 hours, and for once, I remembered to snap a few photos as I went along. I hope that you enjoy seeing how a portrait evolves!
Starting with a greenish-gray tone on my canvas, I use charcoal to make a horizontal mark for the top of the head and the bottom of the chin. I use the width of my hand to determine the size of the head on my canvas. I decided to make this one slightly smaller than life-sized, so the span of my hand will account for the entire head. Life-size would be just the chin to the hairline.
Using a measuring stick, I compare my model's head length to her width. In this case, her width is about 3/4 of her length. I drew vertical lines with my charcoal to show this relationship.
Next, I found the horizontal halfway mark on my box and drew a line through it. I found the halfway mark on my model and realized that the halfway mark went through the space between her eyebrows.
Using the halfway mark as my guide, I sketched in the major shadow shapes on her face.

Switching from charcoal to paint, I started to mass in my darkest values.

Once my darks have been established, I switch to my lighter skin tones.
Using the dark shadow areas as my guide, I can "see" where the dark irises belong.
I add detail to the features,
And swipe the color of her scarf across the canvas using a palette knife. I'm happy with the likeness of the portrait, and I like the bold color of the scarf. I hope that you enjoyed the journey with me!


  1. Stunning portrait! Love the scarf too! Thanks for showing the process, terrific to see.

  2. This is so helpful to see your process. Thank you for sharing. Nice Portrait.

  3. Thank you for sharing your process Ann. Seeing that you place the pupils in before the rest of the eye really helps me! Magnificent portrait!
    Happy Painting.

  4. Thank you for this little on line course...really enjoyed it, lots of tips to help you out! And the final portrait obviously in gorgeous!

  5. love your style Annand thanks for sharing your process in these photos.

  6. I love your style - so glad I found your blog!