I have painted for many, many years, and over the course of that time, I have tried working in almost every medium, but I believe that my approach to painting heads is a bit unique. In this post, I’ll tell you how I painted Doc the Hobo in Acrylic. This is not a method that someone else taught me. It is simply my process that has evolved over time.
Steps 1 and 2: I first draw the subjects in pencil, and afterward, I define the colors with chalk. I use cheap pastel for this. I’m not trying to be a pastel painter here. I simply need to lay in some color. I did use black pastel for this step, but otherwise, I don’t use black anything else. I mix my blacks in paints and ink. For Doc, I used Soft Pastels made by Master’s Touch. Hobby Lobby sells them, and every other week, they are 50% off.
I use the pack of 24 pastels, and at 50% off, that package only costs $10.
After I place all the colors, I use a soft brush and water to soften or dissolve and blend the chalk in places. In other words, I turn the chalk into a crude watercolor. I prefer to do this step with angular brushes, and for the next step–to apply the ink, I use a soft angular shader that is about 3/8″ in size. I work from light colors to darker colors, In the above image, I laid in the yellows first. Then, the oranges, and then, the burnt siennas. I added the blues and violets last.
Step 3: I define the values with Winsor Newton Drawing Ink. In the above image, I used Canary Yellow, Orange, Scarlet, Violet, Blue, Violet, and Burnt Sienna inks. I try not to use either black ink or black paint. Again, I worked from light to dark, and I used the same soft angular shader brush that I used for Step 2.
Step 4: I painted Doc with long and bold strokes of Golden Heavy Body Acrylics. I do not use white paint until this stage. I used Cadmium Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Magenta, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Light, Naphthol Red, AlizarinCrimson, Dioxanine Purple, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Burnt Sienna, and Titanium White. As soon as I begin working with acrylics, I paint from dark to light–I lay the lighter colors directly over the darker colors. I usually use angular bristle brushes to paint with acrylics, and I paint boldly and quickly. I strive the hit the exactly correct spot each time I lay in a color. I blend very little. I paint with blobs of color, and in most cases, I let those blobs stand where I place them.
I Never Use Black or Gray Paints from the Tube. I always mix those colors from complementary colors. My darkest blacks have Prussian Blue in them.
In another post, I’ll tell you how I keep my colors clean, clear, and bright.