Just finished this week's portrait. I am finishing up a set of paintings of the Harry Potter characters this month. They have made great subjects for practicing painting techniques. I have been studying the work of various portrait and landscape artists like Jeremy Mann and Jeremy Watts who have very energetic approaches to building color on the canvas. These fine artists are teaching me a lot about getting loose with brush strokes and maintaining an impressionistic attitude toward the subject.
This painting took about 10 hours. 2 years ago if I attempted this it would have taken 20-30 hours and would not have been as strong as a painting. Starting loose and staying loose as long as possible is a big advantage in completing paintings more quickly.