Every portrait offers infinite lighting and rendering possibilities. The challenge is to quickly find the one combination that best conveys what you see in the subject. So before you pick up a brush, ask yourself: What does a soft, north light do to the subject’s features? A warm backlight? Light diffused through an outdoor canopy of green leaves? What happens when the head is tilted or the body turned? In some cases, you’ll want to find the most flattering setup, but in other cases you may want to emphasize a distinctive feature like weathered skin.