need help with painting from reference
Hi everyone! I'm new to painting (and crimson daggers btw),
I've messed around with paint like once a month for the past year and never really got much guidance.
I would appreciate it sooo much if someone can suggest painting practices!
(photo attached as a file)

this took around 2.5 hours. acrylic.
I've started on Kevin McPherson's "Fill you oil paintings with light and color" but I'm not so inclined to use his method of reading colors...
This is one layer of paint, painted from darkest to lightest.
Should I do some kind of under-painting?
Are there any other painting books I should pick up?

Thanks so much!
Welcome to Crimson Daggers Rachael :).

That's a nice piece of acrylic painting there :).

I'm not sure I can be too much help since I've only just started with acrylics myself but I'll throw in a few ideas anyway if that's OK.

In my first attempt I tried to tackle both value and colour at the same time and it didn't go too well so then after watching a few promo videos on Jeff Watts (from Watts Atelier) YouTube channel I decided to just tackle values first and am currently just doing monochromatic paintings.  This seems to be working a lot better for me.  I'm finding that my paintings have a better separation between light and dark and therefore have a more solid 3D feel to them.

In your painting I feel that you could push the shadows under her jaw a little darker to give the painting more depth.

It is interesting that you mention underpainting and this is something I am looking into myself.  From what I've read, many artists use and underpainting and then use glazes over the top to add in the colour.  I will try this in my next painting and let you know how it goes.

As for books, many people recommend James Gurney's books, I have the Color and Light one but have only scanned through it briefly so can't really comment on it yet.

Also here are a couple of links on painting in acrylics that I've found useful:

Hope this helps at least a little bit :) - good luck with your painting, I look forward to seeing your progress :).

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook

Welcome Rachel! Now will be a good time to fill in that background - it will effect how everything look on the figure as soon as you set a background color down. Even if you're planning on a more elaborate bg than some colors, set down a base bg now.

Never give up. Never give in.

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