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So, what have I learned from the process of these four paintings? Such a change from seascapes! It might sound obvious, but here goes. Drum roll…..
The first stage is the most important. Actually it is crucial. Once the charcoal drawing looks ‘right’ in terms of its likeness to the subject, it is time to paint in the eyes, nose and mouth. This has to be done before the excitement of slapping on too much paint. It is too difficult later to regain control of wandering eyes, loose lips or sniffy noses!
Theoretically then, you can stop painting when the composition feels right.The likeness is there and from that point you are working with the canvas and the basic elements of the painting.
Knowing when to stop, ah yes! That’s another issue. Sometimes the customer plays a role in that. The first stage might be cut and dried, but the final stage isn’t as clear. What do you think?