Once a week at least I try to paint from life. There is nothing quite like it for seeing all the colors that are really in skin or anything else for that matter. Often I end up refining the painting later from the photo. If I do it soon enough I can usually remember the colors and values. I get so caught up in the painting at the time that sometimes I don’t see some of the proportion problems. Hopefully I catch those when I review it later in the studio.
This beautiful young woman was a wonderful model. I don’t get to paint African Americans as often as I’d like. Their skin presents a whole new set of values and colors. I got to use oranges and ed oxides in a way that I would not normally. But I would never see some of these were I not painting from life.