Painting Demo: Stage 7

I hope everyone had a marvelous Valentine's Day! For those of you that checked the blog for new material yesterday, I apologize. I took the day off to spend time with my wonderful girlfriend Andrea Orr. Today, I'd like to show the progress I've made on Sydney's head.

I started by massing-in the darkest values. When starting a new area of a painting, it's a good idea to establish your darkest values first (or the lightest ones). That way, you have a standard against which to gauge all the other values. You can then ask yourself, "how much lighter is this new value than my darkest value?" and so-on.

At this stage, you'll notice a lot of my strokes have sharp edges. These will get softened later. At this point, my priority is to establish a strong value pattern (arrangement of darks and lights). When painting a head, I remember the "egg principle": Just like an egg, one plane of the human head will be lighter than all the other planes. The lightest plane on any object will be the plane angled closest to a 90-degree angle to the light source. Usually, the lightest plane of the human head is the forehead. However, because of how Sydney is positioned in front of the window, the lightest values happen to occur on her cheeks. I like it, so I'm going to go for it!

And here's what I have so far. Not a finished head, but it's getting there! In the coming days I'll be working on the drawing of her mouth (I want to make her smiling a bit more) and on freshening up my brushwork. This may not happen tomorrow, in case you're wondering. We'll just have to see which area of the canvas I feel like painting in the morning!

Thanks for joining me again! I hope to see you back tomorrow, Wednesday the 16th for more!

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