Start with the focal point
I begin by painting the face, trying to stay true to what I see in my rough sketch. Faces are usually the starting point in all my paintings. They’re my favourite thing to paint, which gets me into the right mindset quickly. Having a somewhat finished face also improves the look of the entire painting, which makes it more fun to work on.
Colours and values
Now that the face looks about halfway finished, the rest of the image needs some attention. I gradually erase the drawing on top as I paint all around, mainly focusing on the body. I adjust my values, strengthening the overall contrast to ensure the painting reads well at thumbnail size. I also increase the saturation of the colours to make for a more striking cover image.