I have a folder of photos of faces I've been saving for paintings. This image began as a series of blind contours (my usual warm-up/loosen-up), which led to the shapes that ultimately became the crown, or flames, or whatever they are... The face seemed like the right one for today, so I just dove in. I enjoyed every moment of this, from capturing the features in pencil before starting with the watercolors, to the hours of color glazes that built up to the final surface. The time flew. I listened to two albums by Jimmy Eat World, back to back, four times. There were some silent spells between starting them over, when I was lost to sound. I guess I painted for about 5 hours.
This is my first attempt to paint an African face. I was drawn to the beauty of the features, and the play of the warm and cool browns. It was done all in one long afternoon session and finished in an hour or so the same evening. Watercolor on Arches hotpress, 19 x 19. Click on the image for a larger view.