Using the photographs he will produce one or more sketched proposals in a collage. Together with him you will decide which of those images, in expression and composition, is to be the point of departure for the painting. Start of the painting does not begin until this preliminary process has been completed. After the sketches and the preparation of the canvas, the first stage is to set up the painting in monochrome : a combination of white and brown brings out the shading between light and dark and gives a good impression of the final painting, albeit without colour.
Next stage is the actual painting of the portrait through the application of various layers of both transparent and finishing paint. As the oil paint has to dry before each new layer can be applied, this process may take several weeks. The final layer to be applied before completion is a retouching varnish. Depending on the nature and size of the project the whole process may take several weeks or even months. Sometimes there may even be a delay before he can actually start a new assignment. About one year after completion of the painting a finishing varnish can be applied. Only then the oils will have dried sufficiently for the paint to be sealed with this varnish. Application of this varnish is integral part of the assignment.
Pencil and colored pencil drawings take less time. Depending on the subject and the number of people completion takes between two to four weeks. Sign up for my newsletter