Step-by-step: Showing age in the face realistically
1 With the initial drawing, I try to capture the forms in monochrome, because this will define much of the form and shadow, without the distraction of colour to flatter everything. At this stage, it’s an exercise in draughtsmanship. I save any expressive flourishes for when I’ve nailed down the fundamentals. 2 Now I apply colour and use it to bring out subtler forms for which a harsh line or deep shadow might be little overpowering, such as forehead wrinkles or cheek hollows. Having base colours defined also enables me to scrub over areas I feel I’ve over- rendered with a lowOpacity brush, thereby softening them. 3 Now I can concentrate on the fine details and highlights, which help to give everything a sense of greater dimension. Here, I suffered from starting with a less solid foundation than I should have in step one. This led to edits and full repainting of some areas. The lesson being, always build a strong foundation.