Many years ago when I took a figure painting workshop from artist Robert Lemler at the Scottsdale Artists School. he said something that really stuck with me. “When painting a figure, the head leads the way”.
This idea has served me well. In my newest painting, “Changing Seasons”, I first establishing the placement and general lighting condition of the head which helped me to move on to other areas, bringing them up to the same level. Than going back to the head with a second pass of development, more specific placement of the features, more sophisticated broken color areas.
This is where I really need to slow down, keeping in mind the vision I have for this painting. Suggesting form and shape, I need to be careful not to over render. Some areas I actually needed to scrape back and build up again. Always keeping an eye on the path through the image.
When to stop? When there is nothing more you feel you need to say about the subject!