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Week 1: Day 1: Challenge: 1 hour portrait painting

July 1, 2011

I’ve kicked off the challenge with a 1 hour portrait painting. I’ve bent the rules slightly, in that I started the clock when I started painting and I didn’t include the drawing part in the hour. Day 1 and I’m cheating!

I always start off with a pencil drawing as it helps me to structure the painting, if I make a mistake it’s simple to rub it out and I can see what I’m working towards. I find it difficult to paint blindly, but this make my work less expressive. Hopefully, the challenges will give me more confidence in my painting and let me be a bit more experimental.  

I’m painting on un-primed MDF.

I like to pack in as much detail into the drawing stage as possible. I always start

Pencil drawing

off and measure the eyes first; I think that’s the key to any portrait. Then bridge to bottom of the nose, to top lip… If you’re starting out, it’s easier you find a picture that’s roughly the same size to your drawing, this way to can see a direct relation. There is not a more valuable experience than painting from life, but it’s not always easy to get a friend to sit still for an hour.








After 30 minutes


 Half way through…










1 hour portrait painting


Times up!










1 hour portrait painting

Ok, so it’s nowhere near finished, but the challenge has made me sit down a focus for a full hour, no TV, no making a brew, just solid painting… and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t feel any pressure to create a masterpiece in an hour and I knew I didn’t have hours of painting ahead of me to meet a deadline. Just painting; for paintings sake. I’m looking forward to tomorrows challenge: 1 hour still life painting.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. jane permalink
    July 1, 2011 11:28 am

    These are wicked luv em – you are soooo talented x

  2. Andy permalink
    July 22, 2011 1:47 pm

    Well… this is my favorite so far. Not sure what is is about a corpse like grimacing man painting that taps into my psyche and makes me happy but it does..


    • August 9, 2011 1:33 pm

      Haha thanks Andy! People are drawn to artwork that they can relate to. guess that you see yourself in this image… :p

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