I just wrapped up this painting for entry into the Salmagundi Clubs Annual Non-Member show. The source is from a Putney Painter session a couple months back, and my studies from that day were extremely helpful in keeping as much "from life" flare to this painting as possible.
Above is my initial sketch done in pencil. Just a 15 minute placement of all the important features, making sure I had everything fitting in the canvas.
I then went right into splashing some paint around for a loose background, and then started blocking in the head. I painted the head first in the two main values, the dark and then light side of the head, then slowly went into the details, trying to only paint what I thought was necessary.
This is the end of the first evening of painting, probably 2:30 hours at this point
From here, I just worked my way out from the head. The photo source was very different from what I witnessed from life (you never notice this when just doing things from photos . . . when you paint something from life, and then paint the same thing from a photo, that's when you start realizing what photography robs you of). Some examples of the differences was the washed out highlights on the guitar and sofa, the varying texture of the scarf, and the color of the shirt (which in the photo was very grey, but in my studies, very purple/blue)
Here I moved into the details of the guitar and the hand (the hand is painted with only three colors/values -- the light side, the dark side, and then the middle value that can be seen in the angle shift of the fingers)
And here is the final painting
Song for Putney, 12 x 18 oil on linen mounted to board