Have you seen the work of David Lobenberg? I realised he paints people in a similar way to how I paint animals. So ’tis the season and all that, here’s a rather colourful Papa Noel.
It is all about tones – colour/hue is immaterial (apart from his red hat). As long as darks are dark and lights are light, it really doesn’t make any difference. You will still recognise the subject. I teach this on my courses and people look at me funny. But a purple cow is still a cow, as long as you get your darks and lights in the right place.
I found this lovely portrait on Pixabay:
If you struggle to see tones, turn it black and white and up the contrast. Try to train your eye to see shapes of tone, rather than individual features.
Draw a pretty detailed sketch, trying to join up areas of similar tone. As you get more confident, this underdrawing won’t need to be so detailed. You can see I made his beard bigger and changed the hat – well doh! Papa Noel does have a big beard, doesn’t he? He needed bushier eye brows too and a less gummy smile.
Now start painting those shapes with any colour you have in your palette, as long as the tone is correct. In general I started with yellows to the right and worked to the left with dark cooler colours. Then using reds for his outfit and finishing with the background to do a little negative painting. Perhaps a little line work and softening would help, but try to keep the freshness and spirit of fun.
Happy Christmas! And if you fancy painting with me in 2019, look at my workshops on www.lizchaderton.co.uk