Here’s the evolution of Joanne. I’m a man of few words and a lot of brushstrokes, so here it is. I started out with a great drawing, and I probably spent way too much time, around 4-6 hours perfecting the details of the smile, nose and eyes. I respect that drawing is a foundation and blueprint for the painting to come, so I take it seriously. I want to get the details right so I won’t second-guess myself later.
Next, I lay in the skin tones of the head. I’m a big fan of Zorn, who used just black, white, yellow and red for his portraits. I go a similar route, so I could keep it simple. When the face and hair are done, then I move to other parts of the the body and then the background. I’m comfortable with that, whether it’s right or wrong, who cares. It’s right for me. I went through 5-6 layers for the face, so it could look more like a 4-year old and less like an adult.
Finally, I put in the background, which is really another painting in itself. I like to make it very loose and abstract, just keep it solid. After all, the subject is the star, and the background is just…well it’s the background. It’s important, but it’s best not to over-think it.