I begin my painting with a quick light sketch of my subject in charcoal, laying out my art, keeping in mind the perspective of my subject with relation to the work space on canvas.
The colours are applied in stages on both of my preferred mediums (oil on canvas and soft pastel). I first apply a soft colour for the background, skin, and clothing etc. filling the work space with a cool hue to recede the background. When I'm working in oil, I normally wait about a week for the first stage of painting to dry. From there I start building my artwork with various shades. My oil or soft pastel paintings will have approximately three or four levels of colour on completion. Between each stage, I continue examining my work for desired changes - shading, perspective and accuracy.
Warm hues are added to areas of my painting to bring in the subject. When you look at my portrait painting you will see the closer I feel the subject should be, the warmer the colours are.
I try to stay away from blue shades for the skin tone shadows. I know it's used quite often by many artist, but I prefer to use a cool shade closer to the skin tone for the shadows. The nose, eyelids, cheeks, ears, chin, fingers are painted in warmer tones with a hint of highlights from the implied light source. Always try to keep in mind the direction of the light source when choosing your shades.
Texture is added on the final stage of my oil paintings by brushing in thick layers of paint.