I did a dramatic portrait of Shannon a while back. Dramatic lighting, pose and emotions... That was my intention when doing the portrait and reference photo shoot, but one of the last shots I took of Shannon was so relaxed and "real" I just have to do another of her. Also her mom saw the other posted on my blog and though she was depressed! So this one will prove that she wasn't.
I was hesitant to use this reference because she is smiling. I don't know if you've noticed but most artists do not draw/paint their subjects smiling. There are several reasons for this most likely because when people smile their eyes are not wide open. The other big reason is because teeth aren't the most fun thing to paint, lol!
I felt like Shannon's eyes were open just wide enough for this to be a good portrait. Plus the lighting hit her eyes so perfectly that the colors sing.
I'm going to start another still-life tomorrow and try and work on this and the still-life simultaneously... something I don't usually do, but I need to make some morestill-lifes and I can't leave much time between portraits!