I very recently got commissioned to paint two portraits for someone as a Christmas gift (Merry Christmas!), and I recorded my process of these paintings very closely so I could give some insights as to how I work. I saved both images, as well as recorded a video of my screen while I was painting, that I then sped up.

I hope this will help you!!!

See above: all images from sketch to finished product. This took about 10 hours total, I think, though my perception of time in this is usually much longer, because it takes a while to get started, there is a lot of tweaking near the end and a lot of thinking about the best way to do things, which brushes to use, etc.

In the video you can see the entire process from beginning to end, sped up, so you don’t have to watch it for hours and hours.

Nowadays I hardly use the standard hard brush for base colouring anymore. In most cases I start out with the soft pattern brush right away and use that to block out the basic colours. It creates a nice blend of colours as well as providing some texture right off the bat.

If there isn’t enough crispiness to the painting, I usually go back to the hard brush. I used the hard brush for details in the eyes, and eyelashes, etc, for this painting.

The supersmooth skin brush I use toward the end to give the painting a soft, silky look. It also really helps to blend the tones. It’s a tricky brush though, because it is really hard not to overdo things with this brush.

Coming soon: Background painting tutorial!

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