Today was our third and final day working on this portrait. My intent for this project was to demonstrate a much less precise approach to painting than I usually use. I asked you to think of it as more of a sculptural process where were would make a mess and then try to push and pull it into the portrait. Ordinarily we would start with a precise drawing and planned composition.
This being a less exact process means that we have to be willing to tolerate a little less precision - the portrait might not end up looking exactly like the photograph. This is both good and bad as many of you have discovered.
One of the primary strengths of this "sculptural" approach is that we are constantly adjusting edges, proportions, placement etc. as we develop the painting. This often means we end up with a more integrated, cohesive over-all painting than if we start with an exact drawing. It can also be freeing to not over-plan a painting and just start by making a mess.