Portrait outline :stencil or shield by hand?



What do you guys like to do when you AB portraits? Keep the outline of the image for hard lines or shield the sides by hand smoother outlines. I have cut up a picture of Alcapone and i wanted to give it a try next week (holiday = free time):triumphant:. Also tips and hints you'r willing to give are very mutch (is this english?) appreciated.


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Well I can't speak for anyone else but my technique is... well... none of the above. I'll draw it out (old school like) and then using black do all the shading then if necessary throw in the hilites and then add color over the top of that.
I've tried it both ways, but there's only been a couple of portraits that I actually thought came out decent (More about my lack of painting skills than my masking technique). One was more along the lines of the freehand shield method, and the other I used a cut out to protect the back ground. The freehand one had a much softer outline and had a completely different effect than the hard, in your face, outline I got with the cut out. Both worked for their particular pictures, but both looked much different from the other. There's a ton of great portrait painters on here, so I'm sure, with their help, you'll get it figured out, but just trying out different methods and getting the experience in seeing how each one works for you and the different looks you can get will help too.