Monday, 22 July 2013

Portrait number three with a LOT of leaves...Step by step

Materials - Bristol Board, a Melamine drawing board, A Daylight bulb in a desk lamp, Caran d'Ache Luminance, Caran d'Ache Prismalo 1 and a mixture of Derwent pencils. 

Step 1 - a detailed line drawing, so that all my colour work runs continuously. This is not the last word in process, it's just the way I like to work. I prefer to make all the tonal decisions from the offset then spend the rest of the time on colour. 

Everything needs more than one colour. With dark tones in fabric (ie large areas at a time), I like to do a full all-over layer and then lay the next colours down on top. With smaller areas, I prefer doing all layers as I go along, to stop it becoming tedious through repeated revisiting. There's a BIG difference between a Labour of Love, and Laborious. So with the leaves, I did a complete leaf at a time, with skin, I work up tiny areas about an inch square. 

Hair... I always do hair last because... I don't like doing it!

My desk space gets more and more cramped as things progress. I always cover finished areas with a piece of paper to help keep the work clean. Particulalry important when there are large dark areas, which create fine dust which can stain the lighter colours. 

If you have any questions, do ask!

Up coming workshops - children's drawing, portrait weekend, water colour weekend. Email for details


  1. Absolutely lovely, but I knew they would be. Looking forward to seeing your photos of them at higher resolution.

  2. Awesome! I really enjoyed reading how you work and seeing how the subjects come alive bit by bit. Wonderful.