I did it! I am a portrait painter.

After I finally got over my anxiety about putting paint down on canvas, I finally sat down to try my hand at painting my first portrait… you know, the one I spent last week obsessing about.

I decided to just do a really rough contour sketch with a few details for the underpainting rather than obsess about producing a fully realized drawing – I’d still be obsessing if I hadn’t – and then play with the paints and see how it felt.

It felt pretty good.

She doesn’t really look like the picture I used as a model… not much, anyway. I feel like I quit too soon – didn’t play with enough layers – because once I got something that looked like an actual face, I was afraid to go on with the fine tuning for fear I would mess her up. The skin tone isn’t quite right, so I need to practice the mixing. My inner critic sees plenty to work on still. She always does.

What I see, though, is that I painted my first portrait! I did something that I feared was impossible for me. And regardless of her flaws, I think she is beautiful.

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