I had the pleasure of taking a figurative painting workshop with Zhaoming Wu recently. I've admired his work for some time, and he doesn't seem to teach very often outside the Academy of Art in San Francisco, so I jumped at the opportunity to study with him.
I took a number of photos of his demo as it progressed, and I thought others might be interested in his painting process.
Once he has a rough drawing, he starts by blocking in all the darks. At thsi point he ignores the difference between the figure and the background, and he blocks in with a single value.
He then adds exagurated color into his darks.
Then he worked the focal point - the highlight on the shoulder. He works with soft synthetic brushes, and used a fan brush quite a bit.
I really loved the painting at this point. He is starting to get this great transparency and atmosphere.
And the final piece. This demo took about 3+ hours.
I really liked his process and thought he was a very good instructor. I'd recommend working with him if you're interested in his looser figurative style. I think he gets lots of atmosphere and emotion into his paintings, which I really admire.