At this point I stopped taking pictures and got lost in the painting process, but here are a couple of intermediate photos. Sorry for the poor image quality, I've tried to sharpen them up - when I took these photos, I hadn't intended for anyone to see them.
The main problem that dominated this painting was the eyes. I worked for a LONG time trying to get the eyes to "sit into" the head, and to bring some kind of form to them rather than just have them appear as a flat plane. Each painting I do seems to present some kind of "eye challenge", and I think some closer study of the structure of the eye might be needed in the future. I changed the clothing at this point too. I felt that the contrast of the bright pink top made the whole painting more "punchy" and somehow more solid.
After loosely blocking in the large masses of light, and once the whole canvas is covered, I've arrived at something vaguely resembling an underpainting. At this point I just let the whole thing dry before beginning the overpainting.
Blocking in the main large masses of the face, with the help of a smaller,very basic oil study,which is really just indicating the position of the light and dark masses. I'm trying to keep it loose at this stage, as I don't want the painting to become static. Nothing is definite at this stage, the painting moves with the model.
Blocking in the hair. The important thing in the beginning is just to get some paint onto the canvas. I usually start by blocking in the dark tones in the hair, ignoring detail and looking for the underlying structure.
So here's my first post - a portrait of my soon-to-be stepdaughter Georgia, oil on canvas. This was the first piece of work I did after returning from my time spent in France as a student at Studio Escalier. This painting was exhibited at this years Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition in London. Next I'll post some progress shots of this painting from start to finish.