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The Art of Derek Dohren

painting, writing, photography



Sergio was my landlord when I first moved to La Zubia. He accepted a portrait from me one month in lieu of rent. This is the step by step guide to how I painted it.

step 1

I worked from a couple of photographs and sketched in the basic outlines, making use of a scaled down grid which I copied onto canvas. I decided early on to block in the background in blue.

step 2

He has silver hair and a full beard and moustache so I need to pay attention to getting the styling right. A lot of it is going in with payne's grey at this stage. I've put down a reddish under layer for the skin tones.

step 3

Ok, he's beginning now to emerge, peering back at me from the paper. The image looks a little flat and two-dimensional though. It's time to start working the skin tones and the shadows and highlights to really bring him alive. I also need to consider the lower part of the painting, in particular the neck and the T-shirt.

step 4

Nearly there. I've decided his T-shirt is red even though he was wearing something different (artistic license). The facial features are looking stronger but there is still a fair amount of work to do on the skin tones to add some real depth. The hair needs attention also.

step 5

It's as good as it's going to get. I know Sergio liked it because he gave the portrait to his dear mum. That month's rent crisis was duly averted.

You can see a bigger version of the finished painting in the portrait gallery here at the site.

Paint some memories of your stay here in Granada. Contact me for details.


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