The village art class set me a task beyond my very limited abilities, copying a portrait. Foolishly I chose a Freud self portrait and only got this far with the under-painting by the end of it. At least there is no possibility of my meeting Shaun Greenhalgh’s fate and being imprisoned for forgery. The results were, to create a dreadful pun, more fraud than Freud.
That said, the process was instructive however poor the result. Putting the darks in first is in principle sound enough. The trouble in the case of a proper artist like Freud is that they are so interlinked to the remainder of the mark making and the particular action of the brush or knife that it is hard to establish much meaning with them on their own. Ironically, it would have been a lot easier to have attempted something by a worse artist.