I was inspired to make a portrait of Natalie Portman after watching her movie "Black Swan". I've always been inspired and fascinated by human form, emotions, and characters. So for this painting, I wanted to create her likeness based on her photo and add my own character interpretation. With that idea I opened my Photoshop, created a new file (17" X 11", 300dpi), picked a basic #13 & #19 brushes with an Opacity Jitter set to Pen Pressure, and started sketching using my Cintiq 21UX.
I usually start with rough outlines on a tinted background…in this case I used medium warm gray. My focus here was to construct the basic forms, not on any details yet. Once satisfied with the outlines I created a new layer and applied darker gray to establish the shades "blocking".
At this point; in a new layer I applied a lighter grey color on some part of her face using basic #13 brush. I lowered the opacity of the outline layer, then, I switched to my "stipple" brush to gradually add darker shades on her eyes and lighter shades on her face.
This stage, I began introducing rough details to the location of the eyes, nose, lips and other facial features. I also added a lighter background layer.