In this 6 minute video, I paint a portrait of Bhai Gurbaksh Singh ji from start to finish.
I start with a sketching his face and refine it until I think it’s good enough to start painting. I make sure to capture key features.
For portraits, I would say the eyes are the most important of all. The whole face is important, however the eyes are key to conveying subtle emotions. So it’s very important to paint the eyes well.
I quickly block in different colours, brown, green, red and violet. All the colours I see in his face, I exaggerate them a bit, and spread them over the canvas.
I like to paint with dark colours personally. It gets my imagination going. It is kind of like looking into the darkness at night, you become focused and start to see all kinds of shapes and figures.
Now using the palette I have created, I begin to paint his face. I shape and mould the darks and lights.
I keep several photos of him open on a second monitor and study his facial structure as I paint him.
It is ok for the painting to look bad at some stages during the process. When you are putting down blobs of paint, it’s bound to look bad at some point. A lot of artists become uncomfortable during this stage and feel discouraged. Realize that it’s a natural part of the process, and just push through it. Express yourself fully, without letting the paint or the state of the painting inhibit you.
I experiment with different backgrounds, and paint in the rest of the body. At first I stick with the palette I have and give him a green chola. However it looks off and so I change it to blue. Blue complements with the orange and brown tones of his skin and it naturally fits into the composition.
The more you practice something, the better you will become at doing it. The same goes for painting. Practice, practice, practice, never stop!