Further to my last post, here are the stages that this portrait went through before coming to completion.
As I added layers and layers of charcoal, her face became smoother and smoother, and the curves of her face became more and more realistic.
Light and shadow are important elements to pay attention to, as well as value. This whole portrait is built with only value - lights and darks.
Another thing to be aware of when you are doing portraiture is the direction of your strokes. When you are doing the cheek, for example, you want to think about how the skin stretches around the bone structure underneath, and follow that with your brush strokes. The same applies for the hair...how is the hair flowing? Follow it with your brush strokes.
In the case of hair, and especially with children, it should look soft. In this photo, you can see the beginning of building up the layers of darks and lights, and the softening effects I've been able to achieve.
And here is the final result:
16" x 16"
charcoal on canvas