Thursday, February 05, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl Completed


I think this painting is complete but as always I need to live with it for a bit to be sure. The top left corner is not really that dark, just a glare from the shade as I was rushing a bit to take the photo.
So many things interfere with painting time, taking photos, getting ready for exhibits, eating, sleeping....I have serious issues!

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Watercolor Painting - Portrait of Girl Update #2

I am much happier with the background now but still not sure if it is done yet. I am toying with the idea of either making the dots bluer/greener or possibly even iridescent but I need to do some playing on scraps first.
At least I can move onto the portrait again now as I think the color is much nicer and brightens things up again. I used a light wash of the background colors and then dropped in indandethrene blue in areas. It was ok but not as bright as I would like so I then went over the entire top area several times with winsor green. This really helped to brighten and enrich the backgroun color. It also gave a richer color & more depth to the dots.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby Portrait Grandaughter Completed

Graphite Charcoal Portrait of Baby
Well I think this little cutie is completed but as always I will leave it to sit a bit and take another look with fresh eyes. I understated her hands and clothing slightly so that they do not take too much attention from the face. Again, her face is much more developed than a sketch should be but I just can't seem to help myself!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Life Drawing Sketch

This is a quick, 15 minutes quick, sketch of a friend of mine from Suite E Life Drawing group. We decided to take a night and do 15 minutes portrait sketches of each other and it was a blast. We all took turns 'modeling' and the other frantically sketched until the timer went off. We kept rotating the groups so we all got a variety of subjects and the class flew by!

I was thoroughly exhausted by the end of the evening but I hope we do it again soon as it was great practice!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Untitled #2

Watercolor Figure Portrait
This is another (finally) watercolor portrait for my upcoming exhibit in March at Place des Arts. It is done in sepia again and is as of yet untitled...any suggestions anyone?
I have a few ideas floating in my head but nothing that grabs me yet :) I started working on it months ago and just did the finishing touches after completing my last commission. Only 22 or so left to go.... Next!

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Update 8


More layers of light and dark fur have been painted througout. The woodgrain has been lightly suggested and the layer of paint has been painted both with payne's gray. A few more layers will be added to darken the step underneath and create more texture.

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Watercolor Dog Memorial Portrait - Sketch


The sketch has been transferred to the watercolor paper and has been adjusted in photoshop so the lines can be seen better online. The flowers & leaves will be done very loosely for a glowing effect whereas the deck and Kelly's portrait will have stronger details to ensure that they come forward and that Kelly stays the focal point of the painting. A few of the flower petals and leaves will have more detail just to lead the eye and add interest.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Birthday Portrait Commission


A few more tweaks have been made and I think I have got it :) This is the completed portrait in full size which is 18 x 24.
The transitions of the light and dark graphite are not as smooth as in the actual portrait but it is pretty close. I will leave it for a bit to see if anything needs minor tweaking but I think it is done!

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Birthday Portrait Commission - Son Update 1


This is an update on the son's portrait which is to the right of his sister. His eyebrows and hair need to be darkened as well but need to let the graphite settle in more.
Again several tweaks are needed but much of the tonal values have been built up gradually. I should not of complained about the lack of sun here as I have been melting in my studio all day...but at least I have great lighting :)

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Birthday Portrait Commission - Daughter Update 2


Well I think she is nearly complete but I will leave her until I am nearly finished her brother's portrait and then do a few more tweaks. I think her lips need to be a tad fuller in spots and her nose definitely needs to be narrowed a touch along the upper bridge but I want to wait for daylight and, per chance sun?!?!?, to see for sure.

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Birthday Portrait Commission - Daughter Update 1


This is an update of the portrait of the daughter which

is starting to take shape. The lighter layers have been added and now they will be built up to create the darks and to further refine her features. Several areas need to be tweaked but she is starting to look 'alive' :)

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Birthday Portrait Commission of Kids Sketch


This is the outline graphite sketch for the birthday portrait. The color balance has been adjusted in photoshop so that the lines are more visible online as they are fairly light on the actual paper. Now the fun begins!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Birthday Portrait

This is the reference photo of the commission that I started today for a birthday gift for my client's kids. They are a few years apart but both of their birthdays are in August.
I think this is going to be an awesome portrait! The images were taking from different photos but I think they go together very well to show their different personalities. This portrait will be done in graphite and will be 18x24" in size.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Watercolor Figure Portrait - Untitled



This is another watercolor figure portrait done with a monochromatic palette of sepia for an upcoming exhibit at Place des Arts.


It is part of a series of paintings that will be on exhibit in March 2009, 7 paintings down, 31 more to complete, haha, good thing I work best under pressure!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Murphy Touched Up

Just a quick post as I touched up Murphy's portrait just a little. I pulled out a few more highlights and extended the grass as it was looking a little odd to me.
The paper flattened out nicely but took 2 days so it is off to the post office for Murphy today to go all the way to Scotland!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander 2

Watercolor Portrait of Dog
Murphy's portrait is really starting to take shape now as most of the darks have been added. The eyes look a little funny still as the 'color' has not been added to her iris's which should set them in nicely. Her right cheek needs a bit more shading as does the tip of her nose.

Once I have a few more glazes of watercolor painted on I will do the finishing touches to the darks and add more texture to the fur on the face & ears.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Dog Portrait Commission Munsterlander Sketch

Dog Portrait Commission Munstlander Sketch
This is the outline sketch of Murphy, a beautiful Munsterlander dog that I will be painting as a monochromatic watercolor. I have done the sketch small and will enlarge it then transfer it to the watercolor paper.
I usually start out with a large sketch but I wanted to keep it small to ensure that I caught all the details as the photo is blurry. I think I have captured his personality already though even with the limited detail.
The eyes I had to 'feel out' as in the photo they are in total shadow but he seems like a loyal intelligent dog so I hope that I have caputured that in his face and eyes.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Father's Day Commission - Daughter


The daughter is nearly completed now so I will move onto the profile of the father and come back to her again near the end. The forehead needs to be blended a bit further and the hair darkened in areas but I want to give it a chance to settle in more so as not to damage the paper. Her eyebrow now appears a tad to narrow in spots so I will touch that up as well before the next update.
It is starting to look very cool with all of the family together, the balance of lights and dark are coming out really nice in the overall piece.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Father's Day Commission - Father update

More darks have been added to the father's face and areas have been touched up and softened. The hairline will be softened more by adding wisps but that will be left until the end to keep them crisp.

I am not sure if it is due to taking the photos under indoor lighting but the transitions are really not showing up well for either the father or the son. I will take a photo tomorrow, hopefully in light as it has been raining and gloomy here and there is no end in sight!

The father's lips are still too dark I think but will wait until morning to fix. I did a few minor adjustments to the son but more are needed. His face looks dirty online but on the original the transitions are again much smoother. Will see how things shape up in the morning!

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Father's Day Commission - Father update

This is an update of the father's portrait. The transitions between the dark and lights look much harsher online than on the original but still a fair bit of work is needed to darken/lighten areas. His hair is looking a little pointy and too round on the side but the darkness is getting there.

The mouths looks a little odd with the outline of lighter skin around the lips but I want to leave it to nearer the end to fill in so that I do not loose the contrast of the lips. The moustache has just been placed in for now and will be shaped shortly as will the teeth.

This is the first portrait I have done with the darker skin tones and due to the size it has been a bit of a challenge to get the darkness tonally without getting a shiny surface as so often happens with graphite. I am happy to say that I have learned a few tricks on this portrait!

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Evaluating your drawings

While working on a portrait it is crucial to take a step back every now and then and take a really close look ... from a distance. While working on a recent commission, I needed to After looking at get some distance to do a few more tweaks to it before moving on. There were too many little areas that needed tweaking and it would be too distracting if they are not addressed first as they are throwing off the resemblance.

I use several tricks to 'get distance' from my portraits as I work on them, the most helpful and easiest is to just take a photo and upload it onto the computer. It is like viewing the portrait through different eyes as the computer flattens the image even more so any areas that are off immediately pop out.

Another trick is to look at the portrait in the mirror which I think gives a pretty similar effect, but is a little difficult to do with a larger drawing. One I have been trying recently is using Photoshop to superimpose images.

  1. Open the original reference photo and the drawing at the same time
  2. Size the image size for both ref and drawing using Image - Image Size
  3. Unlock background layer of drawing by double clicking on lock in the layer panel
  4. Drag the drawing over top of the reference photo
  5. Set the opacity to around 45% on the drawing using the drop down for Opacity in the layers panel on the right hand side
  6. Match up drawing and reference photo

You may have to resize the image a few times to get it just right but it is a great way to check the proportions quickly for the entire drawing.

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Father's Day Commission - Son

The portrait of the son is nearly complete so I will move onto the father and come back near completion. The hairline needs to be softened, the chin is a bit too pointy and his right eyebrow needs a bit of work. The eyes look very dark online but in the original portrait they blend in nicely but add sharp contrast.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Father's Day Commission Sketch


This is a mockup using two reference photos that I will be doing a Father's Day commission for. I am really excited as the photos are just awesome both in quality and the character and emotion that has been captured. I honestly can't stop smiling everytime I look at it already, I think it is going to be really sweet :)
The portrait in total will be 18 x 24 which will be really great as well as I will be able to capture so much detail. I started on the outline sketch today so hopefully will have an update tomorrow!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Family Portrait Commission - the daughter updated


Blogger has been having issues the past couple of days so please see link for image Portrait
Well I think the daughter's portrait is looking much better now :) It is a bit of a tough photo to work from as were the boys as the photos are a bit blurry and over flashed so alot of the shadows and features are washed out, but they are such great expressions! It really helps to have photoshop (or any other software to work with) so that the tonal values can be adjusted back and forth depending on where you are at in the drawing stage to exagerate the shadows. You can get the same effect from squinting, but this is much easier on the eyes ;) I will leave her for a bit and may come back and make minor tweaks along with the rest of the family.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Family Portrait Commission - Sketch and Reference Photo




This is the start of my latest commission. It is a sketch of the grandparents, father and children which will be a birthday gift for the father from a very nice friend. The artwork is 15 x 19 on a sheet of 16 x 20 Arches Hot Pressed watercolor paper.


The layout took a bit of reworking both by the client and myself and I think it was well worth the effort. It has a very nice flow which draws the eye from the father around the portrait to the other family members.


As this is a larger commission, I will start with the grandparents and work my way down from right to left, top to bottom, to the kids, house & then the father to avoid smuding and keep the drawing fresh. Generally each portrait is completed to roughly 90% before moving onto the next and then final adjustments and tweaks are made at the end. Time to jump in!

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Newborn Baby Watercolor Portrait - Fighting Sleep


I think this baby is finished but will leave it for a few days to decide if it needs tweaking. He looks like a little old man which goes with he personilty totally as he is so serious about everything. I have titled this portrait "Fighting Sleep" as he was trying so hard to stay awake but failed miserably ;)

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Newborn Baby Watercolor Portrait wip 2


Many more layers have been added to build up the shape and add texture to the hair. The object the baby is lying on is from imagination and is not really a blanket or mattress. I wanted to mimic the shape of the baby but add a contemporary feel.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Acrylic Dog Portrait of Papillion


I have been playing with acrylic a bit as of late and

just completed this portrait of a papillion dog. The look he has on his face is priceless! I did take photos of the progress so I will upload as a work in progress when I get a chance as well.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Life Drawing Graphite Portrait

Life drawing is so theraputic! This portrait was drawn in 30 minutes and was the first portrait in a series of 3 that I drew of the model during my last life drawing class. I am quite happy with it and I can see the difference that regular practice from life can make in a short period of time.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Completed

Well I think this is done! I will leave it for a few days and come back to it to see for sure and I will likely make some tweaks. I have added a few more glazed to the hair after lifting out some highlights. To lift out the highlights I just used a nylon angle brush with clean water and a tissue. You could also use a razor blade to scratch out the highlights but I think it looks too harsh. It is also scary to take a razor blade to a portrait after all this work! I also lifted some highlights out on the skin, eyes and shirt. I love this stage but it is easy to get carried away so I have to watch myself. The paint also lifts very easily at this point as there are so many layers of paint on the paper to a light hand is good! This photo seems to be a bit less red than the original, I can't seem to get it right ;)

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #7

The hair has been painted in several layers to add depth and to obtain the rich red color in her hair. A dark mixture of ultramarine blue, burnt umber and yellow ochre was used for the darks. I then glazed over all of the hair with raw sienna and then a mix of burnt umber and a touch of sepia to give the red and brown tones. Still a bit more work to be done to add the detail to the hair.

Her face has been glazed with cadmium red with a touch of terre verte several times but still requires more glazes to give her a rosy glow. The lips have been painted more heavily with the same mixture. The eyes have several glazed of indandathrene blue with a touch of cadmium red. I may add more glazed once the portrait is nearer completion and will lift out the highlights later as well.
Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #6


A bit more modeling with venetian red and darkened the background.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #5


Now the face is modeled a bit more with venetian red which is an earthy color similar to indian red but not as opaque.

The color is again brought into the hair. The background has been darkened with a bluish green mixture. It will be darkened a few more times as I go. The shirt has been blocked in with cobalt blue and a touch of terre verte and will be modeled loosely to suggest shape but not too much detail.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #4

The features have been modeled a bit further using the watercolors very dryling now and blending well to avoid harsh lines in the portrait. I have added the background color which is a granular purple shade. I plan to darken it significantly as I go. I am continuing to add all of the flesh colors into the hair so that the hair looks more natural and has more depth.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #3

The hair and face were covered with a light layer of Naples Yellow and then the features of her face were further modeled further very carefully. Now I am adding layers of light red to give a bit of color to her skin and hair. The colors are a little off on this one as I had to use the scanner again and the board does not fit the greatest on it!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo #2

The blue underpainting has been overpainted with a olive green mixture to comeplete the grisaille. It looks more brownish than I think it should at this stage, and even moreso online, but we will see how it goes! It does have a nice glow to it though and she is starting to look less one dimensional.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Watercolor Portrait Demo

I started this portrait prior to doing the last two cat portrait commissions and am now getting back to work on it. I am going to do it as a work in progress and it is my second attempt using the same drawing that I used for my first attempt using the grisaille method. I have transferred the drawing to the watercolor paper and have painted in the lights and darks using only blue. The full image would not fit on my scanner but you get the general idea.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Gift - Graphite & Charcoal Cat Portrait of Zak


Well I think Zak's portrait is complete! I will leave him overnight and may make minor tweaks. The scan does not show the graduations in tone as well as I would like. Some areas look a little choppy in the scan, but if gives the general idea. I think the dark background is throwing the balance off a bit for the scan.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Totally cool right side/ left side brain 'test'

I just saw this on Maggie's site and had to check it out. It is so cool, give it a try and see, no you don't have do do any math or think, it is not a 'test' like that ;)

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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, June 13, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip4


I have done a few minor tweaks to her face but still much more is needed to achieve the resemblence. I will leave the faces for a bit though and work on the rest of the portrait to allow the graphite to settle in and so that the final details are crisp. I have drawn in the shape of her arm using B graphite pencil and will move onto her dress shortly.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip3


S

till lots of tweaks to made to the bride as well but the main features have been blocked in. Several layers of H, B and HB graphite have been used to draw her skin and hair. The graphite pencil is then blended, features redrawn and blended again removing highlights where needed. Each pass further refines the features as the graphite absorbs into the paper. I will likely draw both of their faces to near completion and then move onto the rest of the portrait and then finish up with their faces again to keep the features crisp. As their faces are smaller than I generally work with I find that I am almost working in reverse for this portrait. Laying the features down and then removing excess graphite to refine their features more.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait - wip1


I have drawn in the rough details of Bret's face and am building and defining his features as I go. Many details are off at this point as I refine them as I go. His eyebrow and goatee have been set in but need adjusting as well. The actual faces are much smaller than I am used to drawing which is a bit of a challenge so I am using B graphite rather than 2B to keep the details more crisp. HB graphite pencil is used for the tighter details and both have been blended and reapplied many times to build up depth.
This is kind of the ugly stage of the portrait for me as many things are so off that they scream at me but by the next update things will be taking shape nicely :)

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

1st Wedding Anniversary Graphite Portrait




This is the graphite sketch for a commission that will be a gift for a first wedding anniversary. I was not able to capture all of the portrait with my scanner as it is 11x14 and my scanner...even though it says it scans A4...seems to not want to go larger than 8.5 x 11 argh, may be time for a new scanner ;)


I have transferred the drawing onto the watercolor paper and have darkened the outline of the bride and groom with HB graphite pencil. The background is hard to see right now but is sand and rocks with will be loosely drawn in.


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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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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 26, 2007

Baby Girl's First Birthday Graphite Portrait - WIP6


I just did a few minor tweaks and drew this cutie's eyelashes and brows. I still need to even out a few of the highlights but want to let the graphite settle into the paper a bit first.
I will leave the portrait for a day to get a bit of distance and then make the final tweaks as needed but she is pretty much completed. Again, online the transition between the lights and darks can be a little harsh looking but in the real portrait they are quite subtle but still provide contrast to capture her character.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Baby Girl's First Birthday Graphite Portrait - WIP4


Well, she looks much better with 2 eyes! More layers have been drawn using a 2B graphite pencil for her skin. Her hair has been drawn with 2B, B, HB, F and 3H graphite pencils, blending as I go and adding some of the highlights.
For her eyes, I used 2B, HB and 3H graphite pencils to draw the iris. The pupil was drawn with 2B and HB only being careful not to add too much of a shine to the paper. I like to bring all of the different areas of the face to near completion and then hone in on the details so no area is complete until the end of the portrait. It is really starting to look like this cute little baby girl though I think :)

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Baby Girl's First Birthday Graphite Portrait - WIP3

Just a quick update! I have drawn many many more layers of 2B, HB and F graphite pencils. Just slowly building up the layers of the graphite portrait of this cutie!

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Baby Girl's First Birthday Graphite Portrait - WIP2


I have drawn a bit more skin tone values throughout using 2B and H graphite pencils. The lips have been drawn using 2B, B, HB and H graphite pencils. The teeth will be finished last and the lips still need some adjustments which will be done nearer the end of the portrait. I tend to jump around the portrait a bit when I draw as I like to let the graphite settle into the paper.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Completed 1st Anniversary Graphite Portrait







I will make minor tweaks but the anniversary portrait is pretty much complete. His hair needs a bit more work to add a bit more depth. I still need to clean up the smudges of course. I like to leave the completed portrait for awhile to get a bit of distance before giving it a final once over and making any adjustments if necessary.


The image with the hands showing is taken with my digital camera as my scanner is not large enough to capture the full image. Thought I would upload the final scanned image as well for consistency.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Anniversary Graphite Portrait - WIP #7

Several more layers of 2B and H graphite pencil have been added and blended for the hair. I will leave the hair for now so the graphite has time to settle into the paper and come back to it to add more depth.

The shirt and the tie have been nearly completed so I will now start on tweaking the facial features first to the groom and then to the bride until I am happy with the resemblence for their portrait.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Anniversary Graphite Portrait - WIP #5


The drawing process is the same for the groom, just adding the skin tone in layers using mostly 2B and HB graphite pencils and blending to build up the layers and hone the features of his portrait.
It looks pretty rough right now as there are many areas in different stages of completness, next update should look more cohesive.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Anniversary Graphite Portrait - WIP #3

Many more layers of 2B graphite pencil have been added to the portrait. Several areas need to be tweaked but she is starting to take shape. I have drawn in the hairline a bit more but will leave the rest of her hair until later.

At this stage of the drawing I am more concerned with building up the layers of tone with the graphite. I then continue to move the graphite around to add depth and capture the personality and character of the bride.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Anniversary Graphite Portrait - WIP #2



Many more layers of 2B graphite have been lightly added to build up the tones in the bride's face. The eyelashes and brows have been roughly marked in with a HB graphite pencil and will be finalized at the end to keep them looking crisp as will the wispy hairline.

The stage of the portrait always looks odd as the building process needs to be done slowly and in many layers so some areas are more developed than others. The skin tone looks a little grainy in the scan due to the dark hair but is actually very smooth looking on the real portrait.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Anniversary Graphite Portrait - WIP #2

Several layers of graphite have been added and blended using 2B and H graphite pencils to create the bride's.

I have gone back into areas, removed highlights and then added more layers to create depth in her hair. I still need to add more of the detail to her hair and the wisps framing her face but I will leave those to nearer completion as I want them to be crisp.

I added a very light layer of skin tone using 2B graphite pencil and blended lightly. Many more layers to come! The scan does not pick the skin up well at this point because the contrast between the hair and the skin is so great. Next update her portrait should look better!

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Anniversary Graphite Portrait - Initial Sketch

This is the initial sketch for the portrait. I darkened the scanned image in photoshop as the actual lines are quite light. I tried to add a fair bit of detail this time at this stage as a bit of a 'road map'. I used an HB graphite pencil for this stage as it blends in easily so that the lines will not be visible later.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Graphite Dog Portrait of a Weimaraner

Graphite Dog Portrait of a WeimaranerThe dog portrait is complete! The detail on his face and ears has been added to add texture and depth. The body has been left smooth with less detail to allow it to appear further away from the viewer. Posted by Picasa

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Using grids for proportions tutorial

I was taught to use the grid method in elementary school and was amazed at how simple it was to use. Unfortunately, I was under the impression that using a grid was 'cheating' so I never used it again. Years later I went to an exhibit of Vincent van Gogh and was astonished to see that he and many other masters used the grid method! Well that was good enough for me!

I decided to give the method another try. I drew grid lines, 1 inch apart, with a permanent marker onto an sheet of acetate film. I blew up my reference photo to the size that I wanted and placed the acetate over top. I then drew grid lines with an F pencil onto my drawing surface. While this worked very well, I was spending too much time drawing and erasing the grid lines.

I now use the process below:
  • I now blow up my image to a size that I am happy with and print it off.

  • I then print a grid using 1 inch squares that I created in Photoshop (you can also use a word document for the grid) directly overtop of the printed image. You can use whatever grid size you like but I prefer a 1 inch by 1 inch grid.

  • Then I print the same grid onto a piece of tracing paper and draw my initial sketch on the tracing paper.

  • Once I am happy with my drawing I use a light box (ok, so I use my glass dining room table with a lamp underneath) and transfer the drawing to my drawing paper.

  • If I have a hard time seeing the lines, I will go over them with a black felt pen.



This may seem like a bit of work, but if you have ever used the traditional grid method only to be dismayed by grid lines showing through on your final drawing, the work seems minimal in the long run. Also, I found that drawing my grid lines manually often led to slight discrepancies between the grid on the picture and on my drawing. Small discrepencies turn into big discrepancies when you are working on a portrait!

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Graphite & Charcoal Materials Tutorial

Drawing Surface
My favorite drawing surfaces are smooth or medium bristol board and arches hot pressed watercolor paper. The watercolor paper provides more tooth for the graphite and charcoal to settle into.

Pencils
Any artist grade pencils will do. Experiment to find a brand that you feel comfortable with. I generally use F for the initial drawing as it erases easily without too much damage to the paper. I also like to use mechanical pencils as well as regular pencils as they maintain their shape well.

Charcoal

Again any artist grade charcoal that you can find will work well. The degrees of hardness ranges from HB (hardest) to 3B (softest).

Erasers

I use mak tak as a kneaded eraser. You can buy it at any stationary store. It is used for tacking pictures to walls but it works perfectly for lifting graphite and/or charcoal from drawings and for erasing.

Blending Stumps

Soft paper felt with double pointed ends used for blending. If the point wears down you can use sand paper to repoint.

Tortillions

Soft rolled paper with pointed end used for blending

Chamois

For the smoothest blending and to lift off extra graphite or charcoal.
Tissue PaperFor a rougher blending effect and to lift off extra graphite or charcoal.


Miscellanesous

Tracing paper to draw original artwork on, transfer paper, masking tape for holding template in place, drafting brush to remove eraser and graphite residue, chamois for blending

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