Friday 30 September 2011

Portrait of Rachael WIP 3

Worked some more on this, mainly the hat, neck area and clothing.  This is a picture with lots of light and shade of varying intensity and allows me to practice getting the tones to look convincing.  One thing I've learned is that if I see a particular area that needs to be darker, it's sometimes better to achieve that by leaving it alone and lightening the adjacent areas instead.  For me,it's all about constant adjustments, little by little, always being mindful of the picture as a whole.

Rachael's hat and dress were rendered only with some of the colours I've already used on her skin and the background.  It gives the image a green tinge I think, but I like it.  It's almost finished, just a few minor adjustments to do here and there.


Tuesday 27 September 2011

Portrait of Rachael WIP 2

I've worked on this a little more today and thought I'd better upload it again before I do too much.  As you can see, I've kept pretty faithful to the original photo although I did crop the image to shift Rachael to the right.  I just think it has more impact like that, more interesting than dead centre.

I hope you can see that I've added in some more colours, not just to the background but to her face and neck too.  The photo does show a wide range of colours in her skin but there's a danger of just 'seeing' the browns and reds.   In real life, there are shades of green, blue, purple and yellow in skin too.  Sooo ... I've added in Sky Blue, Caput Mortuum, Caput Mortuum Violet (Polychromos) and Limepeel and Pale Vermillion (Prismacolor) ... so far.  I've left her neck deliberately unblended for now to remind myself, and show you, where I've put some of those colours.

I've used greens, Bistre and Ginger Root (what a fab colour!) on the background but also in her skin too which helps to unify all the elements in the image.  There's a danger, I think, that if you use completely different colours for the background, the portrait itself can look like it's kind of stuck onto the background.  Hope that makes sense.  I'm using cotton buds to blend the colours together and push the pigment into the paper.  I love Colourfix paper, it takes so much punishment!

I'm really enjoying this project.  A way to go yet.    

Monday 26 September 2011

Portrait of Rachael WIP 1

Approx 8" x 10" Coloured Pencil on Colorfix (Soft Umber)
(Ref: Original photo by Li Newton on Paint My Photo)

Here's Li's original photo ...

I know, it's been a while sinced I posted anything.  In fact, it's been a while since I drew anything!  No excuses except I went off on another path researching my family history.  Genealogy is utterly fascinating and can take over your life ... well all your spare time anyway.  But those (dusty) pencils kept calling and I've had a few prods from blogger friends, thank you good people.

I like to draw from my own photos but I haven't taken any lately ~ must get snapping again.  Looking for some inspiration, I came across this striking photo of a young lady from Barbados by Li Newton (Paint my Photo).  I like her 'dead-pan' expression and the beautiful colours in her skin ... good light/dark contrasts too, so I thought I'd give it a go.  A portrait is probably not the thing to tackle when you've just come out of hibernation, artwise, and you've almost forgotten the techniques you learnt and the way colours work on the paper.  Heyho, I never said I was wise or sensible.  I'm learning again ... fast!

I'm using Polychromos pencils, all the browns, reds, pinks and, of course, one of my favourites, ivory.  One or two Prismas are also in there too, Sienna Brown and Dark Umber.  Early days yet with this and I can see loads wrong with it but I'll plod on.  I'll be starting the background next, bit late I know, and it will be kind of cross-hatched and muted.  Oh and the hat too (been putting that off, it looks tricky).  I'd forgotten how calming, almost meditative, drawing is ..... aaah!        


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