I had always wanted to do a formal portrait digitally, where a life model would sit for multiple sittings in order to have a painting completed. Relying on photographs is too convenient, too easy, and disconnects the painter from the subject. We've all done it, and we all know that it just doesn't feel as authentic as working from life. With the popularity of the digital medium surging, a lot of "con artists" started to multiply at an astounding rate. These "fake digital Sargents" as Craig Mullins once referred to them, would smudge photos, paint on top of photos, or perform other questionable acts but make it look "painted," and present the image as a "painting." I wanted to do it the way a portrait was meant to be done--traditional, with the sitter in front of you, and interacting with the sitter. The painting was split between two sessions. I fudged with the painting a bit after the life sessions to "harmonize" it, since some of my color choices were a bit unorganized and chaotic from the life sessions.
Painting a life portrait digitally was definitely easier than painting one traditionally. So much time is saved when you don't have to change/wash brushes or deal with the physical complications of real paint. A traditional life portrait would've taken me probably three times as long to paint.
The piece is not as loose as I'd have liked, but the brushwork is more relaxed overall compared to my usual commercial work.