Although it is ingrained into our impulses to always begin a painting by sketching in lines that represent the shape and volume of our subject it really isn't necessary.
I am beginning a painting of Jonas by covering the whole canvas with a nice warm neutral. I have made a few initial marks (are these lines?) to locate my subject.
OK, here I've started pushing paint into the areas I want to get the basic pattern started. It is a bit like carving the subject out of a field of paint. There is no imperative for accuracy at this point.
Now I am working in relief, using a small rag that's been dipped in mineral spirits to wipe out areas that need lightening up. Jonas is starting to emerge from the ground. So far I've used a #10 flat brush and a small rag to reach this point.
I've introduced ultramarine blue to get some darker values now. A bit of brushwork and this is starting to look like something. This could stand out as a great little study. I quite like paintings at this stage. The trick now is to retain the freshness while adding more elements to make a more interesting picture.
A little work on his features, a little peachy warm colour in the lit skin areas and some high values on his shirt.
More detail work. A little reflected blues in his hair. More attention to the folds in the shirt.
I've scrumbled some viridian over the background. This allows some ambiguous earth reds to show through and helps the background to receed. I like using green with children because it is a colour that symbolizes new life and growth.
Time to finish this off. I put down some appropriate colours in the shirt, green stripes and subtle violet in the white areas that are out of direct sunlight. I hope you enjoyed seeing the process. Please put any suggestions in my comments if there is an aspect of my painting process that you'd be interested in learning more about. Until next time.