In time, I start to see which photos seem most characteristic and drag these into a working folder. I may need another sitting if, say, the hands could be better arranged, or if we need a costume change. But soon I’m ready to attempt a drawing of pencil and white chalk on grey paper that describes the facial expression I’d like to capture. After this, I make an sketch to show how my impression of a unique personality might translate into oil paint on canvas.
I began this practice after my third portrait as a professional, in the late 80s. This portrait was successful with the young girl’s parents only after my third try! The first two versions are included in the show at The Artist's Place, _with a photo of the final painting. It’s nice to have them as souvenirs, but clearly I needed to find a more efficient way!
Another early portrait was declared by all to be a very good likeness, but lacked the impish spark the parents associated with their five year old son. Yet another reason to take time to prepare previews!