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This is an old drawing - I painted this portrait in 2010! Tutorial was made later, somehow I forgot do to it right after painting (which is normally the case). Well, anyway, it's just another portrait, maybe I've put a bit more effort to painting skin this time - usually I have problems with color. I guess it came out all right in that aspect so I am happy with it :)

If you have any questions or comments - I'm here to help :)

Let's see how it happened - I started with empty sheet (200 dpi, 3000x3600 px) and this time I've really tried making a decent sketch. Without good sketch there shall be no good portrait, which is not exactly true, but good lines really tend to help. Especially here, where I drew very clean sketch and could use it later on ;) On the separate layer I test out first colors. I try to use mostly warm tones, not too much browns in shadows, to avoid giving her mud-colored complexion. Lights are a bit dull and cold, just to make it a bit more interesting. I paint nose first, with soft brush I slowly add more colors and shadows. Low opacity helps me to blend it all nicely.

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I add some shadow behind the nose to break symmetry in the picture. I don't do it usually, mostly because I'm lazy, but it adds some realism to the face and makes it look more natural. Play around a little bit and break the light symmetry! :D After painting nose I add her lips. I tried to pick color in such a way, that it would be quite similar to her skin color, and her lips should be soft and not too shiny. I also add some shadows on the neck, I even let myself use a black a little (usually you shouldn't do that).

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I add softer and lighter color to the shadows (it's easy to do when you use a soft brush with low opacity, very low, and a big brush too) and also some corrections to the shape of her face. In the meantime I try to remove all those little anatomical errors that started to appear (I can still see some errors but oh well...). Now the time comes for eyes. At first I add some shadows and draw an edge for lower eyelid. Then a main shape appears, just to see how big her eyes should be. Then I add more colors. Last picture from those three below shows more than I can say, really ;)

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I try NOT to paint the other eye just like the first one. If I copied it - everyone would realize, it would look artificial and stiff. You can copy it before painting details, just as a help to achieve the same size and shape, nobody says you can't. Why shouldn't we use symmetry? :D After eyes I draw eyebrows with small lines. You can see the details on the second picture. When every face feature is on it's right place I look at the drawing from a distance to check if everything looks all right. I search for anatomical mistakes or some strange shadows, colors not blending well and so on. I also enhance shadows on her neck because it looked kind of fat.

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Now I move to hair. At first I just search for the right shape, painting it with large brush and dark color. Such base will let me forget about the shadows, I will be able to use only light colors for painting individual strands. Before I paint detail on her hair I add the remaining part of the neck and body - hair will hide it later on but still - it's better to see it whole, just to be able to check for errors in anatomy.

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At last I move to her fringe and thick locks of hair turn into individual, thin strands. I paint them with a small brush with high opacity. Here I arrange every single hair. On the separate layer I add some light lines which work as an additional light. It's good to use many colors, every hair looks better this way ;) When her fringe is done I go back to my layer with dark hair and rearrange the hair a little bit. I also separate strands with light color and add some flying hair - just for a dynamic effect. It's super boring to draw hair but if you are patient you can achieve great effect just by painting bright lines.

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After many long minutes I start adding hair on the other side of her head. In the meantime I add some light to her face, just to make it look slimmer. I am not completely satisfied with her jaw but it's an old drawing ;) Colors on the other hand came out very well!

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After some tiny corrections the image is ready! :)