The Portrait Process
I think portraits are greatly improved by working from life, so I make it a priority to travel to the client's location to visit in person and establish the details and information needed to complete the portrait. During our visit, I spend time getting to know the subject, discuss the details (such as the pose, clothing, setting), and complete a photo shoot.
After the photo shoot, we review the photos, deciding which ones would be best to use as references in the making of the portrait. I then take some time to sketch the subject from life to use as a color study and reference for later work in the studio.
Once back in the studio, I begin the portrait using both the approved photographs and sketches. After I've finished about half of the portrait, I invite the subject for a live sitting in my studio. The subject will be able to see the progress of the portrait and I will be able to get valuable information to develop the painting further.