Step-by-step: Show­ing age in the face re­al­is­ti­cally

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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.

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