The Art of Derek Dohren

painting, writing, photography



Sergio was my landlord when I first moved to La Zubia. He accepted a portrait from me one month in lieu of rent. This is the step by step guide to how I painted it.

step 1

I worked from a couple of photographs and sketched in the basic outlines, making use of a scaled down grid which I copied onto canvas. I decided early on to block in the background in blue.


step 2

He has silver hair and a full beard and moustache so I need to pay attention to getting the styling right. A lot of it is going in with payne's grey at this stage. I've put down a reddish under layer for the skin tones. 


step 3

Ok, he's beginning now to emerge, peering back at me from the paper. The image looks a little flat and two-dimensional though. It's time to start working the skin tones and the shadows and highlights to really bring him alive. I also need to consider the lower part of the painting, in particular the neck and the T-shirt.

step 4

Nearly there. I've decided his T-shirt is red even though he was wearing something different (artistic license). The facial features are looking stronger but there is still a fair amount of work to do on the skin tones to add some real depth. The hair needs attention also.


step 5

It's as good as it's going to get. I know Sergio liked it because he gave the portrait to his dear mum. That month's rent crisis was duly averted.


 You can see a bigger version of the finished painting in the portrait gallery here at the site.

Paint some memories of your stay here in Granada. Contact me for details.

currently in the gallery ...