At the right side of the picture is my first attempt at portrait, that of Admiral Nimitz over the Naval History stack. I decided to do these in round porthole-shaped panels, so the first step was to insert panels over the stacks (I did three at the same time today so I'd be a step ahead for U.S. and military history when I get around to them). I didn't include portholes in my original design for the "parapet" in the ceiling, but it's an easy detail to add. )The photo at right shows a series of circular panels already added on the east wall).
There are no known reliable images of Constantine, the last Byzantine emperor, and I sure was not going to use the most common one , a truly awful woodcut shown at right
so I decided to go with the statuet of his that stands in Cathedral Square in Athens (which I was happy to show off to the boys when we were there in 2011).
The first step is to locate a good head shot (at left), then "posterize" it is Picasa where it's down to four shades (at right). Next you print it out and use a protractor to figure out how it fits in the circle, and mark a grid to help in transferring the photo to the wall. The relevant sheet for Admiral Nimitz and the sheet for the future Thomas Jefferson are shown behind
Obviously I can't draw, but you really don't have to – if you haven't figured it out by now, this is now just paint by numbers, and you keep overpainting till it looks right. In this case, I had an image of Constantine's original signature in the original Greek, so I extracted his first and last names so I could put it under his portrait, instead of Latin letters.
Very enjoyable project – I think start to finish less than four hours.