2011 Brush felt tip pen on Canvas 20×16
This is the start of Clan of the Eagle painting the model is Cynthia a family friend, and part Native American… Always try to work from live, not always possible… but if possible take as many good photographs, with good D camera and draw make a few quick notes as to values, shadows etc…
Many people, ask me…how do I start a portrait, I always answer the same way…just do it… with what ever you become comfortable with…start with a pencil or pen or as some of my peers do, with conte, or colored pencils… frankly I think colored pencils are a waste of time… unless of course its a colored pencil painting (the final product is colored pencil or pastel drawing)… to draw in with them almost completely and then to paint over them… not my thing, may work for some not for me….
I usually block in the work with a brush tip felt marker…(My favorite way) or red conte stick … you learn not to make many mistakes if you do long enough… Just use light quick loose strokes working as fast as you can, always works for me… As in this quick work , shouldn’t take but a couple minutes depending on size of canvas…oh yes I draw it right on the gessoed canvas a bright white canvas… you learn to not fear the terror of the big white space…learn to work with it… visualize it in your minds eye… before you start… AND then JUST DO IT… you will be pleasantly surprised how good you can become… with doing that…Many of my local peers, will draw the complete drawing on paper… especially if its large and then prounce it and then powder it to the canvas… Or draw it small and project it with a projector again for me that is a huge waste of time… unless you are doing a huge, and I mean huge work such as a 20x 40 foot mural … Create the work in your minds eye… takes me only a few minutes to do that… (If it takes you more then 5 minutes to block it..an average 40×30′’ one of my favorite sizes …that size sales you are working to slow or cautious and you need to practice, practice practice) and I make corrections in my minds eye before I start… doesn’t always work…lol but most of the time it does… and then takes a couple of minutes to block in… and then block in your dark values, with dark green… I work with a hair dryer… drying the values as fast as I can paint them…the passion in you just comes alive, there is no high like it… Try it… The lighter values always working with the largest brush usually a flat one that is slightly bigger then what you need to paint in details… later swicth to detail brushes if need be.. but the larger the better.
always drying the work as you are painting (unless you want to create, mix a bunch of colors together right on the canvas… slow down the drying process then I add a slow drying gel to the paints acrylics) especially if you are working in washes or layers.
Good luck happy passionate painting Always try to work live if possible…