• Gav

A Valentine Portrait- a breakdown

So I've been promising my girlfriend a portrait for a while now, problem was I didn't know how to paint her. She's an amazing person, very comfortable in her femininity but I wanted to get beyond that. I wanted to paint her vulnrebility (yeah Gav, great idea for a Valentines gift!).

I believe the art to a great portrait is showing a raw emotion. Most photographs and selfies have fake smiles or redundant pouty sexuality so I waited my time. I wanted to stage a photoshoot to get an image and chose my friend Viktoria to do it.

I gave her a brief and a few reference images and then got the hell out of the place, I wanted the final image to be as true as poss so didn't want her distracted at all.

The final images were great but needed enhancing, so then it was time to paint the image and fill in the emotional dots, accentuate the expression and sex-up the lighting!

I started, as usual with a quick sketch and underpaint:

So once the mono underpainting was done it was time to chose a background colour. Deep red always gives an erotic and dramatic backdrop to a portrait, I added a gradient from the edges and high lit the centre:

From the unerpainting and also when the background went on I could see the 'finished painting' which is pretty crucial when painting a portrait. It's important that when you start painting you know what you're working towards.

So here's the final painting:

If you're interested in the process of painting please like my Facebook page here.


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