Artists & Illustrators

PREPARATORY STUDIES

This project will walk you through painting a preparatory study – that is, a painting to prepare you for a more complete painting. This study is what I would typically aim to produce in a single sitting and will provide many valuable lessons.

If you’d like to follow along exactly to practise, you can copy the charcoal drawing below – but I would encourage you to use your own sitter. You might also try painting a self-portrait, as this is a good way to study skin tone closely.

The proportional drawing you make on the canvas should not be too embellished but should take into account the angle of the head, its placement on the canvas, the width of the face in relation to its length and the positioning of the features.

If you are working from your own study or doing a self-portrait for this exercise, make sure that light and shadow can clearly be seen. You will see below that I have indicated the corner of the face in shadow, establishing that the

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