HOT SHOT 27- Alla Prima Portrait Process (I)

alla prima ball point pen people sketches portrait deliberate practice series portraits Sketching Tips tombow Uncategorized zig art and graphic twin pen

I am currently giving myself a very serious task of deliberately practicing Portrait painting, I plan to have 250 portraits by the end of the year.  I call this series The DELIBERATE PORTRAIT PRACTICE SERIES.

I am sharing here, one of the portraits and the process I went through in trying to get it completed. This process is the “outside in” process, where I block in the major bold shapes and finish within with smaller detailed strokes for detail and definition.

To catch up with all the work so far please click here to my instgram page and follow me there.

This whole series is something I have been longing to do but I couldn’t do it on my own without making a public announcement. I think announcing it publicly gives me a bit of accountability not to chicken out when the road gets rough.

THE PROCESS FOR “THE ELDER” 10/250. 6″ x 8″, Oil on MDF (Unframed) £375.




Here I make all the basic sketch lines with a ZIG Art and graphic twin Pen (Number 72 ) I have taken my time to make sure the lines and over drawing are accurate and simple to understand.
I am sketching on an MDF board and it is primed with gesso. The gesso has been mixed into a very peach like colour from various acrylic colours with the white gesso to form a warm neutral base.




For a bit more definition on the portrait, I add a darker colour to the face, this time it’s the ZIG Number 75 and ZIG Number 76. I use the 75 for the middle tones and the 76 for darker accents.




Now The sketcher in me kicks in and I begin to add pen liners, I seriously don’t know why I switch into this mode. Because it’s still all going to be covered up with paint but I always love a good drawing foundation to build on! The Pen I have used here is a Brown Ballpoint pen made by Papermate-Inkjoy 100.





Now this isn’t getting any funny, because I go a bit further by adding TOMBOW Wash pens as i was illustrating. Well, I think it is me trying to avoid painting at the initial stages but also a way of having a strong foundation to work on with oil later on. I use some grey and pinks and reds.





This is the first introduction of oil colour on the portrait. I paint with very bold strokes and most of the strokes follow the movement of the form that I am painting.




At this stage I completely cover the portrait with strokes, bold strokes in an “OUTSIDE-IN” method which helps me get the job almost fully complete. (So sorry the lighting here has glare and doesn’t look that clear.)




“THE ELDER” 10/250. 6″ x 8″, Oil on MDF (Unframed) £375.

This is the stage where I fine tune everything, smaller brushes and smaller strokes with the definition and detail in mind.


If you enjoyed this post, please like, comment and  share with the social media links below and on the side. There’s definitely more to come and more of my workshop info to follow for he rest of the year.

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