Portrait of Philip

Ahh, let’s step back in front of the ol’ art campfire and warm ourselves a bit on this cold winter’s night… I’ve been working on this acrylic portrait of my brother, Philip, slowly working it up here and there and trying to remember to document my progress (I’m really bad at that), which hopefully I will continue to do in future posts through the completion.  Since I’m a little behind, I thought I’d go ahead and share these first five sessions so far.  This first image shows the under painting with the initial sketch of his head.  Next I add some of the highlights to get a better sense of lighting.

With the basic highlights roughed in, I then lay in the darker areas to block in the values before adding any color.

Now it’s time to start refining the values and working in the reddish orange shadows around the ears, eye, nose, neck, etc.

This is the part that I really enjoy–when I get to start adding a little color and refining points, including the eyes, shirt and hair.

I’ve been going back and forth on what color to make the background.  The photo that I took has him in front of a grayish wall that lacks any enthusiasm, so I don’t think I want to keep that.  I like the look of a dark background to show off the face, but since his shirt is dark, I don’t want to make it too heavy looking of a piece.  Plus, I just finished a portrait with a dark background and I would like to work on something with a different look.  Well, something to keep thinking about…


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