When I first started on portrait work I worked in coloured pencil, a medium which is easy to work in. The fine points on the pencils allowed one to get the fine detail and the wide range of colours available was a big help, although by use of layering thin coats one over the other it is possible to blend and produce graduation in changes in colour.
After some time I felt the need to move on and wanted to try oils, fine but colours had to be mixed as the range available was much more limited. I enjoyed this challenge although I am still having to work very hard to match mixed colours on subsequent days, particularly in different light conditions.
I quite like to mount the board onto a light wooden frame, to give stiffness and also with painted edges it might not need framing. With most of my work I like to paint what I see and so the portraits are precise and detailed, it takes time but I enjoy it. The one I am working on at the moment is oil on board and I am working from a photograph.
I am also a believer in squaring up, in just the same way that the old masters transferred their sketches from sketchpad to finished pictures. The oils I am using at the moment are the ‘Alkid’ which dry overnight, that's good but I do find that sometimes they are going off too fast as after about an hour it becomes more difficult to blend the colours. I like to do quite a lot of the colour mixing actually on the surface of the picture and have no qualms about getting my fingers in there to help the blend, or using a piece of rag to take paint off where it is too thick or not wanted. A plastic shaper is also useful
So there we are , that's how I go about it, with varying degrees of success.