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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - James Completed

Well the sun finally came out for a few minutes so I quickly ran to my studio to get a decent (well better) photo of the finished portrait.  I did a few finishing touches on his features to hopefully achieve an accurate likeness of his character.

The text at the bottom has been added in with photoshop but will be added into the portrait once I hear back from my customer on placement. 

The transitions look much softer in real live and the details crisper so overall I am quite happy with this portrait :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - Jame's Jacket, Tie and Corsage

 I don't think I have don't much work on Jame's face since the last post as I have been focusing on his clothing and flower corsage to get all the dark values in.  I probably need one or two more layers of graphite on the jacket and then I will be able to go back to his face and hair.

This will be the fun part as things will start to click into shape as I go through each feature more carefully to ensure a likeness.  I will also do a final pass on his skin tones to even out the blotches and build up more form. 

Finally I will add in more texture to his skin, sounds better than wrinkles and more layers to his hair. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - James Developing The Features

The skin tones have been built up to around 90% completion so now I have started to lay in the layers of graphite for the jacket.  This takes a fair bit of time as if the graphite is added too heavily it can get a shiny appearance that is just not good, so slow & steady it goes :)

I could use charcoal or carbon pencil to get the darkest values but I really like the look of the graphite when it is done so I think it is worth the effort.  Several areas of the face look a little blotchy as I have just added another layer for areas that did not appear dark enough and will blend them in during the next session.

I have started to refine his features slightly, his right eye is getting pretty close to how I want it proportion wise so now I can focus on the form and making it look more three dimensional.  His right eye, nose and mouth still need to be adjusted proportionally but they are not too far off I think.  It is so much nicer working earlier in the date before the heat sets in!  Looking forward to the next update as it will really start to look like him, I did not realize how much I have missed drawing!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - James Building Up the Skin Tones

Building Up The Values
Things looks soft and fuzzy right now which is the look I am going for as I build up the layers of graphite to reach a full tonal range of values.  The jacket will be the darkest layer which I will want to get in soon so that I can make sure the other values are dark enough as one the darkest values are laid in it is surprising how everything else seems to fade away.

Once I get a bit more of the depth built up I will start to make sure the features are correct to capture his likeness as right now everything is close, but definitely not there yet :)  Hopefully tomorrow will be cooler in the studio as it has gone from rainy and cold to summer overnight....not complaining that's for sure, I was starting to think summer would never come!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Oil Portrait Study - Under Painting

Oil Portrait - Under Painting 8x10"
This is a study I am working on using a limited palette for the under painting.  I am trying to keep it low chroma but not totally washed out as I often end up doing and I think I did a pretty decent job this time.  The model has very light skin so I think that I have not gone too light at this point but will see when I do the more chromatic color layers in the next stage.

Her mouth and nose really need to be adjusted but I will wait until this layer dries as after two attempts to fix them, they ended up getting muddied.  Sadly the mouth was actually really nice and fresh before I tried to adjust it the first time. 

I am surprised at how much I am really enjoying these little studies.  I am learning so much about how to handle the paint, mix skin tones and turn form without the stress of actually having to have anything decent in the end :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father - James

Graphite Portrait - 18x24"

The first few layers of graphite have been added throughout the entire face, which kind of looks funny at this point, but it helps me as the portrait progresses.

 I used to draw each area more to completion but I find now I prefer to have a nice layer of graphite throughout to work into.  The ear on the right has just had a few more layers of graphite added but will likely get darker once the other values are brought up. 

This is such a nice size for a portrait as even though the photo is not the greatest quality, I can really get into each feature to add the amount of detail that I like.... plus it just looks really great from across the studio at this size :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Graphite Portrait Commission of Father

Rough Graphite Pencil Sketch - 18x24"
This is a rough sketch of a commission portrait I am working on in graphite pencil.  I have adjusted the image in photoshop so that the lines are visible as in real life the graphite pencil lines are very light and are barely visible on camera.  I like to keep the lines light enough so that they can be adjusted and refined as the portrait progresses and dark enough so I can just barely see them :) 

The paper looks warbley due to photoshop, the next update will look more natural as there will be more graphite on the paper so that I, ahem the camera, will have an easier time focusing :)

Monday, May 07, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Yes I know it is next weekend but it came early for me....I took matters into my own hands.  I often end up with flowers, dinner and such but seriously...what is the best way to my heart? New art supplies of course :) 

I only meant to get a new drawing pad for my life drawing class but of course there were sales on.  So..... I got new brushes.  I really did need them as I did not have any smaller bristle brushes and I love them!  I was wrecking my synthetic brushes trying to push the paint around for my underpaintings and studies. The syntheic are better suited for detail and finishing work so now I have both which makes my life so much easier.  They came with this nifty little brush case for travelling and did I meantion, they were on for 50% off!!! I think I showed tremndous restraint.


I also picked up a larger Masterson palette for storing my paint.  I had put this off as I already have 2 boxes but of course they were not the right size for my glass palette so was making due.  I also picked up a round hand held palette which fits perfectly into the Masterson box so I can just pop it into the box at the end of a session and put in the freezer until the next day, priceless :)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Graphite Study of Nose

Graphite Pencil Nose Sketch
You may not know it from my lack of blog posts but I have actually been pretty busy in the studio as of late.  I am working on studies as I am really focusing on the old masters method of working in oil, so not much post worthy artwork to say the least.  Learning new techniques is very humbling ;)

This is a little study I did this morning of a nose which I plan to use as a reference for my grisaille oil painting tomorrow.  I am breaking things down into baby steps so I spend more time happy and less time lost, that is the idea anyway!

So I re-learned an old lesson I thought I had learned years ago, don't use waxy transfer paper, argh.  I have been cleaning out my studio and just grabbed a piece of transfer paper rather than using my home made transfer paper, this is just a study after.  Well that was my thinking, of course I spent more time trying to blend the transfer lines into the finished study than I did drawing ;)   Several of the lines still show, hopefully I have learned this lesson for the last time...yes the transfer paper is now in the garbage :)