I start with a photo from the AP or another website. I print it off fairly small. I then take a pen and outline the major areas of dark and light. Anywhere I see a shape of different shade I hit it with the pen. I scan this in and open it up in photoshop. I edit some of the darks and lights and make sure my lines are all visible in black and white. I use a little find edge filtering and really highlight the lines I made on the print off. Then I save it as a black and white jpeg. In the photo wizard I open up the image and go to print. I pick 4x6 print, which enlarges and distorts the image a little more. After printing it off. I cover the backside with a even coating of soft graphite pencil- usually a 4 or 5B- SOFT is best.
I tape the image down to the page in the moleskine and trace my lines with a hard pencil 4H, or a ball point pen.
After transferring the image. I start with my blacks and lay those in. I work progressively through the shade until I get to white. I’ve been told I should work in reverse and maybe I will one day but I find that when I try and change up the painting style it screws me up and I end up making the painting messy.
After I finish the face I lay in the background. Depending on how much soak through I have from previous pages I decide on watercolor or gouache for the background. Lately it’s been all watercolor no matter what.
After all that I let it dry and close up the book.