This is the finished portrait of Joanna. 20" x 24" Oil on Linen.
When painting in layers, it is important to understand that each layer is painted to facilitate the following layer - NOT to correct mistakes.
Start with a plan and draw it out in detail before you ever pick up a brush.
Of course I began with a raw umber toned imprimatura. See this.
When the imprimatura was dry I transferred the drawing to the canvas, used a black Sharpie marker for my guide lines and began to "draw" using raw umber and Liquin. I like to use a soft brush.
This is a close up detail of the beginning of the drawing process. You can see my drawing (cartoon) under the paint.
This is the finished raw umber drawing. It can be done in one day, but sometimes I take more time. Even though it gets dark, the Raw Umber is a warm amber and transparent.
Be sure to let this dry.
This is my first layer of white in building the "dead" underlayer. To begin, I scumble a mixture of Titanium White and Liquin onto the dry surface.
Then I slowly begin to build up white as you can see in this detail. Except for some areas of the sky, I'll stick pretty much to the figure.
Note that light is applied thickly. Shadows are thin and transparent.
This is day two and I'm still building light.
This is a detail of how the light is built and as far as I wish to go on the figure and objects in the foreground.
I'm starting to glaze color into the background and put in the first skin tone glazes.
You can see the rest of my process here: