Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak- Update #3

I have added a few more layers of graphite pencil to Zak's fur and will add more still but needed to get the background established first. The blanket has been drawn with 4B graphite pencil and I will either use charcoal for the background behind his tail or 6B graphite pencil, will see how it progresses.

I definitely need to get his eyes drawn in, cats just do not look right without their eyes!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak- Update #1


Several layers of 2B graphite pencil have been added loosely, many more to go!

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait Commission - Demo 1



Wow is this a cat or a jiggesaw puzzle, I think my eyes are bleeding ;) Just kidding :) This cat portrait is actually a lot of fun to draw as all of his stripes really make me get into the 'drawing zone' quickly. I have used mostly 2B and HB graphite pencils for his eyes and fur so far. I will likely use F or H for his wispy fur as get further along but establishing the darks first. Back to the drawing table!

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait


This is the graphite sketch of a cat name Vartz that I have just started. It is a 50th Birthday gift for his person and it is a rush job so not sure how many posts I will do of him before he is finished due to the time. I darkened the graphite sketch so that it is easier to see online it is much lighter on the paper. I added more detail in the sketch than I usually do as he has so many stripes in his fur and the photo is a little dark so I don't want to get lost as I go.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cards of Graphite Portraits




These are examples of my cards that I have started printing. I started out printing just as copies for customers to go along with their portraits as usually they are for gifts so this way they would have a print of the portrait for themselves after they give away the original graphite portrait. The cards can be either vertical or horizontal. If they are for customers like the one for the anniversary gift I usually enter a little note inside the card but for the greeting cards that I am selling like the puppy I have chosen to leave it blank.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Watercolor Portrait of Baby


I am spending more time doing watercolor now so thought I would post my latest watercolor portrait as it progresses. I am trying a new technique so I plan to paint this portrait until I get it right :) This is my first attempt and I figure if I get to 20 attempts and I am still unhappy I give up! Just kidding :) This is the underpainting done using only blue. The idea is to build up the structure using an underpainting and then add the flesh tones overtop...I think I may have gotten a little carried away with the underpainting.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Life Drawing Portrait in Graphite - Francis



This is a quick 30 min graphite portrait of Francis from my life drawing class that I recently started attending. Many of the pencil lines are not as soft and/or defined as I would like but hey, 30 minutes goes fast!

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Life Drawing Figurative Portrait in Graphite

Yay summer is over and my life drawing class has finally started...hmm perhaps my priorities are mixed up....no, I don't think so :) I have not drawn from life for several years as I draw mostly graphite portraits from photos and usually draw children and animals, neither of which will sit long for a portait to be drawn! This is my first 'attempt' at a 50 minute portrait of Iva. There are many issues with it, her head is too large and the likeness is not what I would like, but overal I am happy with my attempt and I don't think Iva will hold a grudge ;)

Life drawing is very different from the tightly detailed pencil drawings that I generally work on and I am really enjoying it although I am still getting the hang of which pencil to use and when. I generally use 2B, F and B for my detailed portraits whereas with the life drawing portraits I need to use 8B, 6B and HB which encourage me much looser. I will be posting weekly so that I have a record of my 'progress' throughout the year. Should be interesting!

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Exploring Conte

I have been taking a bit of a break from commissions and have been exploring new mediums for the past month. Oddly enough, I have never tried conte or chalk in the past. I stumbled across an artist who does amazing portraits in both oils and conte and charcoal. Her name is Marina Dieul and you can see her work on her blog at http://marinadieul.blogspot.com/

She manages to capture such emotion and strength in her portraits and her conte and charcoal portraits only use a few colors to achieve a full range of tonal values. So as soon as I saw her work I ran out to the art store and purchased some conte and started playing. Well, for such a simple medium conte has such a huge range of tonal values and possibilities. Now, how to achieve these ranges, that is not so simple. I have been using similar methods that I use for my graphite and charcoal portraits and so far, am quite please with the results.

Combining the conte with vine charcoal produces a nice range of tonal values and, depending on how and when you combine them, different results can be achieved. Vine charcoal seems to produce the softest results which I prefer and depending on how it is blended (ie blending stumps, cloths, fingers etc.) a full range of blending can be achieved. I use the same methods for blending the conte and have been playing with several shades to achieve smooth transitions of color. The conte that Marina recommends is Carres which can be purchased at most art stores and has several colors to work with although I prefer to stick to a very limited palette of earth tones, especially while I am still trying to learn the medium. I will post some of my sample exercises and eventually a sketch or two once I am happy with the results. So far, I have just been doing basic blending/drawing exercises, spheres, lines and blending to get a feel for the medium.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Custom Graphite Portrait - wip 6


The eye's have finally been set in. They need to be strengthened a bit but the general shape has been established. I have also further defined several areas on her face, lips and nose and will continue to do so as the portrait progresses.


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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Graphite Portrait of Papillon Dog


I thought I had scanned my sketch for this portrait of a papillon puppy but I can't seem to find it! I am working on two portraits at the same time right now as they are both needed near the same date.
This one is for the 8th annual Papillon Canada National Specialty dog show in Halifax in September. I had never heard of this breed of dog before but once I saw pictures of them I was eager to draw one as they are so pretty and endearing.
I have drawn the fur with many layers of my usual graphite pencils in 2B, B, HB, F and H. The eyes and nose appear quite dark right now. I may lighten them a little but will decide after the ears are darkened more with 2b graphite pencils.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Custom Graphite Portrait - wip 3


Several layers of 2b, B, HB and H graphite pencils have been used to draw her hair. Many more layers are needed but the general flow has been established. The wisps around her face will be added when the portrait is nearer completion so that they stay crisp as will the hair under her chin.
More darks will be added to create more depth and flow in her hair. I may make the right side of her hair a tad bit thicker near her shoulder but will decide after the graphite has settled a bit.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Custom Graphite Portrait - wip 2

Several more layers of graphite have been drawn for the skin as well as for the blanket and pillow case. I add the pencil layers lightly and build up as the portrait progresses so no area is completely finished until the end. This way the overall tone of the portrait can be judged better.

I will likely start adding layers for the hair next. Her hair is different colors in the reference photos due to highlights but I think I will go with her hair natural which is a dark black. I think it suites this portrait better and will create more depth and interest as the bedding will be on the light side.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Custom Graphite Portrait - sketch


This is the sketch for a custom graphite portrait I have just started. It is a very rough outline at this point as I am working from several reference photos. The quality of the photos are poor so it is a bit of a challenge but the concept is quite cool and the main reference photo has great lights and darks and she has such a sweet smile that even at this very rough stage she brightens up my canvas.
I am still working out how the hair will fall, how the eyes will look as in the reference photo the eyes are open and some other details need to be addressed but they will sort themselves out as I go. The words Happiness, Peace, Comfort, Understanding and Beauty will be slightly hidden throughout the portrait as well which will be very cool. I will wait until the portrait takes a bit more shape before I decide where each word will be drawn.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Baby Girl's First Birthday Graphite Portrait - Sketch


I have drawn the rough outline with an HB graphite pencil and darkened it in photoshop so that the lines could be seen on the computer. The reference photo is below.

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Baby Girl's First Birthday Portrait Commission

This adorable little girl is the subject of my next graphite portrait commission. She is such a cutie and looks like she is full of spunk! This portrait will be in celebration of her first birthday which is coming up shortly.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Anniversary Graphite Portrait - WIP #1

This is the reference photo for an anniversary portrait commissioned by the groom for his bride. I love the way their noses are almost touching :)

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