Here is a portrait of an artist friend’s wife I am repainting for him. He did a good job for his skill level and ability, but you need a strong drawing foundation for best results.
It is also hard to paint a loved one you miss dearly. When you look at the photograph a flood of memories come rushing back and it’s hard to paint through dry tears or flowing ones. That’s a challenge in itself for any artist on any skill level.
So, don’t ever stop trying to improve your portraiture painting, drawing abilities, just maybe wait and start with someone else, not a loved one.
I have about 20 hours in painting this, but I made the mistake of working over his work, where I should have just started over from fresh. Portraiture in any medium you need a strong awareness in tone, form and how to set forms in paint. Very importantly you need a stronger foundation in drawing and drawing elements. There is absolutely no way around that fact. I am sorry to say, unless you are God blessed artistically beyond measure you need to do the base work. Along with Life Drawing and MORE Life Drawing.
There are NO LINES on the face drawn in black or brown. The color black or rarely is ever used in flesh tones. Wrinkles on a face are Hills and Valleys in form and shapes; go back to drawing ruffles and shapes as well as material. If you think you can SKIP this process you are wrong.
Another huge mistake is to add darkest hues and tones found around eyes and glasses that you’d find in a photograph; painting and photography are two separate mediums which need two different approaches to create. Lighting is key when using photography as your resource.
You must paint complimentary to the figure. Yes, likeness and the essence of the person are required, but do not emphasize disorders. Women don’t wear makeup to highlight their concerns and either should you. Have you ever heard, “Flattery will get you everywhere?”.
If you need help with your portraiture painting and drawing realism I can help.