In progress: Blues

Snapshot of a painting in progress of a very wide eyed little girl.

Thought I’d share a photo while I’m waiting for my paint to dry. I try not to paint too methodically, but after painting so many portraits, I find that I almost always start a portrait by laying in some of the values in the flesh with light blue (or sometimes blue and green, or blue and violet) before adding any other color. Skin, no matter its shade, always has some blues/cool colors in it, in addition to the more obvious peaches, reds, and browns. Leaving that out is the biggest mistake I see made by otherwise skilled painters.

I used to add the bluish shadows on top of the overall skin tone, but I’ve found that putting them down first helps soften hard edges and also makes the color more subtle. Later, I may add more back in over top of the overall skin tone in select places.


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