Revisiting THAT portrait: nose, eyes, mouth and teeth

Anyone who’s watched Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and thinks painting a portrait is a doddle, here’s a glimpse into what it takes to not even come close to that level of skill!

ConboyHill Studio Practice

Could I have chosen a more difficult image? Probably not; wrinkled, crumpled faces give room for manoeuvre but flawless beauty is unforgiving. But I don’t much like being beaten, and anyway, what am I here for? I’m here to learn how to paint.

My books arrived, one on Kindle (Yim and Yim, 2017), the other in actuality (Sin, 2019), and immediately I could see how I was getting this so wrong (and will continue to do so unless I also get more practice which is tricky in a pandemic when all possible sitters are either of an age or constitution that keeps them at arm’s length from anything on two legs, or have become boundary-fluid due to kids at school, back-to-work, or experience some other kind of erosion that they present a risk to first category me).

For now though, using the drawing guidelines, it’s obvious I’ve been fiddling about…

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