I’d like to share with you a painting that I have just finished! It’s always at the final stage that I lose the motivation to add the finishing touches – I’ve been dragging this one out for the last three weeks! Finally though, it’s done!

It’s Zooey Deschanel, the actress who plays Jess in the series New Girl. I love her and the show so I thought she would be the ideal subject for my first portrait in ages. It’s acrylic paint on a 10″ x 7″ canvas panel.

acrylic portrait

acrylic portrait

So, here’s how I did it. First I found a high quality professional photograph here. Then I drew it out in pencil with the help of a grid to get it aligned correctly. I don’t always use a grid, but I don’t think it’s cheating, I mean, look at Leonardo Da Vinci! I started the painting with the background colour grey, then moved onto a black/brown base colour for the hair.

how to paint an acrylic portrait

I did the hair very roughly as I knew I would paint over it, I just wanted to get some background colour on.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

I did the same with the face, using a slightly watered down block colour all over.

how to paint an acylic portrait

Then I roughly added the shadows, ready to smooth out a bit later.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

Some bright red lipstic came next….

how to paint an acrylic portrait

…and a bit more smoothing of the shadows to blend the lines.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

Then for some block highlights in the hair, no individual hairs yet.

how to paint an acrylic portrait

I finished off the detail on the mouth and the nose, adding some little white sparkles to make Zooey’s lips and teeth shine.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

She looks a bit spooky in this next pic with her eyes blocked out with a white base coat! I added a few strands of hair to her fringe.

how to paint an acrylic portrait

Next, I concentrated on the irises, mixing in a couple of different blues.

how to paint a portrait in acrylics

I wasn’t completely happy with her complexion, so I toned some parts down and painted a bit more shadow in the left cheek to add depth. The final touches were her eyelashes, fine hairs and highlights, and the shiny bits in and around her eyes – I think it’s these final details that really bring a portrait to life.

how to paint an acrylic portrait

Finally my signature and there you have it!

Just thought I’d take this opportunity to remind you about my Etsy shop and my facebook page. If anyone is interested in commissioning a portrait, please leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP! 🙂

I’m linking this post up here: Handmade Harbour, Raising Reagan, Blue Chair Diary Illustrations, Diana Evans, Paint Party Friday and Manon Popje’s Illustrations.

Comments

oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this painting is amazing work Clare!!!! I am so super thrilled you shared it with us for Sweet Saturdays….love this and love this actress!!! you have really captured her in this piece….well done!!!! Bravo!!!!

Grief, I love it. I cannot imagine how all that would be put together. The expression, character and feelings are all in the portrait. Excellent. Blessings, Janet PPF I am not a robot, but having too much trouble trying to get this message to appear. . . .

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