First, I'm new to the forum and have read and watched most of the online info and videos and just purchased the portrait videos. I've "dabbled" in painting for some time (mostly acrylics) and have decided to get more serious and really learn how to paint portraits. Mark, your tutorials are fantastic and this is the first time the process has really "clicked" for me and I have a realistic understanding of how to get from photo to paint on the canvas for detailed/realistic painting. I'm hoping you or others here can help with some questions I need more clearification on?
Painting Size: I realize that it's easisest to keep your photo/printout the same size as your actual portrait, but with the number of colors and detail that go into portraits in particular, is there a "best" size that facilitates visualizing the color transitions and detail without things getting too microscopic or large?
Blending: I understand the concept of protecting your shadow areas, but in the general features such as skin tones and other "soft" transitions, are there any helpful tips or basic rules for blending where two or more colors meet to avoid "blotchy" areas and on the other end of the spectrum not over blending?
Hair: Obviously with all the different types, colors and styles this is likely an impossible question to answer, but any basic steps, tips and/or techniques for painting hair that you use? Facial hair seems like it could be especially difficult.