I find creating portrait sketches exhilarating. I think there’s something about faces that we, as human beings, have an affinity for. As babies we fall in love with our mother’s face, and we just keep falling in lIove throughout our lives. I don’t know of any better way to study a face than to paint it. To really see the planes and curves and how they interact to add up to a specific configuration in an individual is fascinating, but the real fun is in playing with color as the light renders the form and reflects unexpected hues into the flesh tones, creating delicious warm and cool relationships.
This sketch of Mimi was particularly fun with the way the cool tones of the shadow area contrast with the warm tones of the light and the red background. Red can be tricky because it can take over a painting, but I think there is a nice balance with the cool shadows in this piece.