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Monday, November 21, 2005

Wedding Portrait - WIP#6

Karen is starting to really look like Karen now, even without the eyes drawn in. It is very weird for me to leave the eyes to the end but I am using a poor reference photo and am dreading drawing what I can hardly see ... always get a good reference photo! I have 'roughed up' Mike's skin a little as he was looking much too young, sorry Mike. I have darkened Mike and Karen's skin again. I constantly go back and modify the dark's and lights to compensate for any darks/lights that I have added. It took several layers on Karen's neck to build up the muscle tone. Her cheek that is touching Mike's was too plump so I thinned it out more and I am much happier with the resemblance.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wedding Portrait - WIP #5

Karen's portrait is starting to take shape. The mouth is loosely defined and I have roughed in the hair. I darkened her skin tone and blended. Will need to repeat several times.

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!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Wedding Portrait - WIP #4

It has been awhile since I have had a chance to work on this portrait! The skin tone is pretty much finished now for Mike and his eyes have been roughed in. I ll leave the finishing touches until I have more of Karen's portrait completed. I have added more graphite for her skin and need to blend in with a blending stump and chamois.