A play of light and shadow…

Here are a couple more portraits I completed this weekend. Both are from photographic reference, but I approached each quite differently. In the first, the one I call Bubble Gum Girl, I did a sketch and then a revised sketch before painting the entire thing in grayscale in order to get the shadows just right. Then I applied the color in several passes using blending layers. Finally, I roughed in the background with an oil brush with thick swift strokes. For the second portrait, the one I call the Bride, I painted everything on one layer using only a Photoshop oil brush. It was a fun challenge that made me think about my brushstrokes more carefully than I normally would because I couldn’t erase. If I wanted to change anything I either had to undo or just paint over the area.

I like them both because of the way light and dark play together. The first is more subtle, but the second actually uses fewer colors to achieve the balance. It’s always nice to try different methods when painting digitally. You never know what you might end up with, and if it’s a complete failure you can just hit delete and never let it see the light of day.

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