I'm a self-taught amateur painter, currently enjoying retirement, who hadn't painted anything in 65 years, but when I saw my grand-daughter's high school class picture I decided I just had to paint it. While Googling portrait painting, I came across Mark Carder's on-line course and decided to try his method. I wasn't satisfied with Mark's designs for home-made equipment, so I designed and built my own easel, glass palettes, palette table, photo stand, brush holder, and color checker. The photo below shows my first painting using Mark's method and the photos and pictures I used as guides.
I only had a B&W photo of the pose I wanted to paint, so I scanned the B&W photo into Corel PaintShop Pro (like PhotoShop) as grey-scale, reduced the number of "color" levels to 15, and printed the resulting image so I could assign color levels I matched from a color photo taken at the same time.
I welcome your comments and suggestions.