Every portrait is a challenge. Van Gogh said it is "passion and control." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_van_Gogh
I construct first, then let my feelings flow. The lighting is extremely important, especially for the skin tones. I use a lamp above the canvas to enhance the glow I am seeking. Mixing the flesh tones is the most difficult. Using Cadmium scarlet plus white with orange and red. Many times I mix in blue tones and brown, colors Renoir liked to use to show the depth of the skin. Since my ambition is not Photo Realism, which often is executed with technical means, my paintings lean on the clean lines of Andy Warhol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol
and the Expressionists https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expressionism I studied in Europe. This is a very unique combination. In the above painting I also included hints of the Impressionist painters in the background presenting the flowers of Keukenhof in the Netherlands.
Then the soul must be painted. I ask my clients about the photo, when and where is was taken. If more persons are portrayed I like to know about the relationship. I fanaticize stories to enhance the portraits I am to paint. How the person or persons felt at that time etc. Painting a portrait is not mechanical but spiritual.
I work with the photo, sometimes changing the backgrounds in color or motive. This is my artistic freedom.
Some of my clients ask for giclees' of the portrait, since most of them would like to keep the original, but would like to pass on giclees' to their families and friends.
Syzygy Design accommodates these procedures.First by photographing the finished portrait professionally and then producing the giclee' prints.