A friend asked me recently for a painting of Yoda to hang on his office wall. I love Star Wars (who doesn’t?) so was happy to be given the opportunity.

I started with a raw umber under painting, using my favourite new dry brush technique, smudging and wiping away highlights with a cotton bud. This feels a bit like drawing with charcoal, just a bit stickier! It allows for a lot of experimentation without building up a thick layer of paint.

After learning so much about human anatomy recently, it felt weird drawing someone human-like but with obvious differences. I was able to see lots of the same facial planes that I’ve been studying, as Yoda is clearly based on a human, but there were lots of oddities to look out for.

I painted the majority of the next layers without medium or thinners, wanting to keep a consistently rough texture throughout the skin and clothing. The only time I added some extra linseed oil was whilst adding details as it’s easier to place the paint when it’s not too stiff.

This was really fun and has made me want to paint more portraits in more of a textured style. It was interesting mixing green skin tones and studying how the light reflected off Yoda’s head. It took me a number of days and evenings to finish, probably 8-10 hours in total. The painting is on hardboard, 12″ x 18″.