Luis is a friend I met on the plane ride back from holiday in Indiana. He was interested in getting a portrait so while creating it I decided to try and take pictures of the process to share.
Step 1: First off I did a bunch of sketches to learn the structure of his face and play with different styles. I settled on the sketch below which was printed at my preferred size on regular printer paper, which I would not recommend. I was being lazy and ran into problem because of it later with the paper crumpling. But later I show you how to save it so it doesn't really matter.
*For those wondering I used Turner Design Gouache with only one brush my trusty Escoda Kolinsky #8.
Step 2: Create a dark wash. Make sure you make enough so you don't have to remix it mid application.
Step 3: Let it dry. Go eat lunch get a snack, just LET IT DRY
Step 4: Lay in where your darkest areas are going to be, so for me I wanted those areas to be the hair, the shirt, and primarily the eyes/eyebrows to produce a focal point.
Step 5: Start to establish form by adding middle tones to the face. You can start trying to bring out more colors in the skin, in this case scarlets and ochres.
Step 6: Lay in background and start to thicken it up, if desired, for me it was.
Step 7: Add values in between the mids and darks to push form, establish hard and soft edges.
Step 8: Noticed my paper was getting a little too wrinkly for my taste so I grabbed a piece of bristol, any thick weight paper would most likely work. Then I used Matte Medium, only on the back of the paper, to paste the printer paper onto the bristol. I used my blinds and a chip clip to hang for drying, but you can just leave it on your work area.
*When I paste the paper down I start in the middle with some kind of old card, in this case I used a credit card like rebate I received for a digital cable box, something strong but wont rip the paper, and from the middle work my way out to the corners. There should be excess Matte Medium coming out the sides so that the corners get glued down all the way. Try not to get it onto your image area.
Step 9: I wanted the piece to be a little more colorful and tactile so I brought out the Caran d'Ache. The main objectives at this point were to finish it up by reinforcing the form, and to boost colors that had become toned down.
And here's a little detail just so you can see the texture produced by the Caran d'Ache
Thanks for checking out my process. Let me know if you have any more questions, I hope this has been informative. :]