I'm taking head painting this semester from the illustrious Chris Thornock. We've been doing imprimatura studies (done in one color, usually burnt umber, and sketched with a paintbrush) and just started grisailles (sketch in an imprimatura, and then use "black" and white paint to give form to the, in this case, face).
Here's yesterday's imprimatura, done in 20 min.
Then you mix up a range of grays, and lay them in, starting with the darkest. There's always a point where I stop and look at the canvas and think, "Uh oh." You start to think you're doing it wrong because it looks like it's not going to come together, but you just have to trust that you've been putting the right values in, and once you get to the lightest colors and lay them down, the face will make sense again. This is that uh-oh point.
And here's the final, after 3 total hours. My professor painted a few things at the end to teach me, like the white around the head (there was a white sheet hanging behind the model) and showing me how to blend with a dry brush and make softer transitions. But almost all of the marks are mine.
Haha. When I finished it yesterday, I thought it was sooooo good. But now, just 24 hours later, I can see all these things I want to change. Oh art.
Lastly, here's the example Chris brought in at the beginning of class. Isn't it funny that he might look at it and also see things he might want to change? So hard to believe, but I'm sure it's true.