Been continuing building my skills by practicing with timed oil sketches. The piece you see here was completed in about 2 hours. So far I can get in a pretty solid structure and the basic lights and shadows.


My goal is to be able to get a more accurate structure with greater precision in less time. I’m excited to keep this timed skill-building up regularly and see how far I can advance myself. Not only the technical aspects, but my own sense of ease and confidence with each new portrait.


In this case, I also got to embrace a different perspective. Though my preferred pose is a frontal view, this time I chose to make it even more of a challenge by portraying the back of our model’s head. 


From this position, it was more difficult to determine an interesting focal point. So I took a bit of artistic license and created one with lost and found edges. 


What the heck are lost and found edges? Read about them here


In this piece, take a look at her left side. You can see that I’ve emphasized the light and warmth of our model’s left cheek and ear, respectively. 


Now look to the right. By pushing this side of her head and neck into into the background, these edges become lost.


Our brain knows her head is there, even though we cannot actually see it. And our eye automatically keeps coming back to the area of highest contrast (her left cheek and ear) no matter where else we look around the painting. Pretty cool, right?!


Does explaining how or why I’ve constructed a painting of interest to you, or do you prefer to view works of art without wanting to know the details? Post your thoughts in a blog comment below!






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