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Step-by-Step Sketch from Life

I have wanted to paint Alan now for at least a year.  One good reason: he sits real well.  Second reason: he carries on fascinating conversation while he is sitting.  So this is my step-by-step sketch of a dear friend. 

I quickly sketched his head shape to start off.  Unfortunately this looks more like Voltaire than Alan, but I took care of that later.

I sketched in the rest of his body and added the shading on his lower face.

Glasses next, and definition to the lower shaded area.

At this point I realized that his face was too low in his head and so I shifted his face up.

Clean up of the nose and a little forehead and chin work, too.

At this point I realized that I had skewed the whole figure.  Often artists will twist the figure without realizing it, but I try to eliminate all skew in my own work. 

Now I get to begin laying color down!

At this point I am playing with form through the use of warm and cool colors.

Whenever I paint, I am constantly refining edges, constantly trying to determine if the expression is right.

At a certain point I abandon all hope of a masterpiece and just try to finish the painting.  I enjoyed painting Alan very much and look forward to the next opportunity to sketch him.