I approached this much different than any portrait I’ve done in the past – I wanted to express something and instead of copying the reference 100%, I took some creative liberties in the brushwork and really focused on capturing her eyes and slightly sad smile. I wanted the viewer to be pulled in to the piece.
You can see the texture brushes I used, and I focused on painting in the direction of the planes of the head to suggest form. I still think I could have pushed it further in some directions, but I also didn’t want to go overboard with texture as it could easily bring it over to ‘gritty’, which is something I didn’t want to capture. There was a ‘gentle’ quality in my reference image, and I tried my best to convey that in this portrait.