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I found myself with lots of time this weekend. The kid had multiple birthday parties and it was a long weekend. I worked hard during the week and was able to catch up with all my grading. Nothing like having time. So I used my time to do something I love, and paint something I love.

The above painting was mostly completed in one day. It's the second portrait of this size. The first (on the right) didn't turn out so well, but I learned a lot in the process.


After reading a few tips online and because I had a good chunk of time, I felt ready to tackle the one above. I'm much happier with how it turned out. I may go back and try to paint the first one again.

Here are a few things I learned from completing the two portraits.

1. Better to start with thinner layers in the beginning because it diminshes the brush strokes.

2. Draw in the shapes with naples yellow.

3. Mix your colors well before applying because acrylics dries fast, which makes it hard to blend.

4. At the same time, for the initial layers, you can pretty much use the colors straight from the tube if you are building thin layers.

4. For highlights on dark hair, use a light blue instead of white.

A few years ago, before my computer crashed, I was doing a portrait sketch a day off of Facebook pictures. I think maybe I'll start that project again, but this time I'll do painted portraits. Now, I just need to make the time.

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