To help me improve on my next portrait, I plan to put down the process, and then to critique the final painting. I wish I could align the images horizontally as it would make the mistakes more visible but that could take me another hour just to figure that out, computer geek I am NOT. So, here goes...
First I used photoshop to make some additional images, one b & w, one lightened, and one narrowed down to a few extreme different colors. I do this to help me simplify the image. Which if painting from life would be akin to squinting at the person.
A charcoal drawing was done to try and get correct proportions and establish light and darks.
To this I started using color, and this is where I usually lose the initial drawing. About three hours into this stage I completely wiped out what I had done. This left me with a mid tone of muddy color but some of the dark charcoal lines of the features remained.
Now striving to keep things more simple I started again using fewer colors.
After posting the photograph and my painting, I have noticed some obvious errors, which I have told myself before to take the time to photograph my work at it's almost- completed- stage and compare it to the photograph before calling it done. OK, so maybe I'll listen to myself next time.
The errors I have noticed are as follows; the face is too long, I have lost the slight tilt of the head, which leads to the horizontal alignment to the eyes being too straight, they should have a slant down to our left. The alignment of the bottom portion of her nose, and her mouth should follow this same slant. I do not have the correct shape for her left eyebrow. I should have gone darker on the shadow side of the face.
What I will take from this is to keep adjusting for correct proportions and line-angles of the facial features before I add detail and more color.
I have to say when I paint from life I find I am better at getting the likeness of the individual. Which is why I am so grateful to have the time to go to the Atlanta Artists Center and have three hours to paint from a model once a week.