I have recently begun a new portrait from life. It is the first time that I have been able to work primarily from a model in quite some time. Lately it seems that I only get a sitting or two, just enough to take some photos and do a small study. While I still will be unable to spend as much time as I would like working from the model, this time I will have about 20 total working hours, which is more than I've done in a while.
I'm 3 sessions in right now, each session is lasting about two hours. About as long as my kids will nap. The girl who is sitting for me has been babysitting for me this summer so I can paint a couple of hours a week, when she gets the little ones down for their naps, she then comes and models for me.
The first two sessions I worked on the drawing, charcoal and white chalk on toned paper. I'm working with a combined sight-size/comparative technique that I've settled into for drawing over the past few years. The piece will be life size, on 16X20 canvas.
The third session I finalized the drawing, double checking my measurements and angles and then I did a small color study to set my palette. I've decided to work with a fairly limited palette on a toned canvas. So far I'm using Titanium white, Ivory Black, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre Pale, and Cobalt Blue.