My son Jared is here from Macon, Georgia to visit for the holidays. He has his MFA in art and teaches at Bloomfield Middle School. We enjoy painting together, so there are two easels being used in my studio right now.
He asked if I’d do his portrait this afternoon. He handed me an 11″ x 14″ canvas. I had him sit on the couch for about forty-five minutes while I painted.
When I do a portrait I make a basic oblong shape for the head, draw a line across the middle where the eyes go, go halfway between the eyes and the chin and draw a line where the bottom of the nose goes, then the last line goes halfway between the bottom of the nose and the chin. This is where the bottom of the lip goes. I draw in the shapes of the darkest values, the middle values, and the light values. I mix a dark, medium and light value, usually using alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, and white. Then I paint in the shapes according to their shades. After that, I play a little with other colors if I need them.