Keira the Artist (5 years in the making)

This is the thumbnail value sketch I did from half a dozen photographs. 
You will see that later I made the light shape at the top of the painting larger.  I use this loose sketch to intentionally find places to lose edges for example between her shoulder and the chair back.

This is the collage photograph that I made from the 6 reference photos I took.  I liked the left hand in one photo, the right hand in another, the face in a third and the chair and background in a couple others.  This is more of the designing phase of the painting.

I projected a few key lines and points onto my half sheet of 140# stretched Arches paper to get the scale correct, then completed the drawing using the reference photos to place the details accurately.

I masked off some hair strands and a few details in her shoes before laying in the first washes.  I painted the main portion of her hair wet in wet as suggested by Paul W. McCormack in this amazing article on how to paint luminous portraits.  I took these photos of our granddaughter Keira more than 5 years ago and was never happy with my ability to paint life like skin.  Paul's step by step process finally helped me crack the code of how to proceed with confidence from start to finish.

Here is the completed painting (sorry it's crooked, I will take better photos later) I will live with it a while to see if I want to darken her pants or lighten some more of the middle background.   For now though, it's finished.

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