Something New: A Painting of Pemberley Digital's Emma

For no reason in particular, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to try a photorealistic style of digital portrait painting. Since I'm a big fan of the Youtube show "Emma Approved," I decided on star Joanna Sotomura as my subject. Here's the result:


I learned SO MUCH in the process of doing this, and while I can see plenty of areas for improvement, I have gained a ton of confidence and motivation to continue challenging myself and building new skills. Hopefully, I will be able to create more paintings like this..... In fact, I'd love to expand it into a whole series including other Pemberley Digital characters like Lizzie Bennet! I could call it: "Pemberladies."


My process was pretty straightforward: I started with a freehand drawing from a photograph (although I used a grid to achieve a reasonable degree of accuracy, I did NOT trace), then worked dark-to-light in soft large brushes to apply the base colors.

I did eyedrop some colors, but for the most part, I attempted to eyeball the hues and tones as much as possible, especially in places where there was a subtle shift in temperature: I wanted the viewer to really be able to feel the warm edges of the curves.

As the painting progressed, I gradually moved to smaller and harder brushes, and for the uppermost detail layers of the freckles and hair, employed textured brushes that did a lot of the work for me (work smarter, not harder!).

This was an utter pleasure to paint. I hope you enjoy it, and critiques are welcome!

Also please Pin the progression at right if you are so inclined!

Larger format progression here.

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