Friday, 1 March 2019

Portrait in colour pencil, step by step

The finished artwork.

This commission was from a student of mine, of both her grand children. I drew the grandson first (see here for the stages of that artwork, partly, I think, to put off the wooly hat! However, once I got to it, I realy enjoyed it. 
The next photo shows both the line drawing which I bagan with, and the first stages of the face. 

Apologies for the different 'white' paper colour in the photos. This is because some were taken in the evenings, some in the day. But they are close enough for you to see the process I use.)

I like to complete every colour and tone before moving on to the next area, and NOT do an all-over base layer. This is because I think the base layer approach, in coloured pencil, can make artworks look flat and 'samey'. For the strand of hair across the face, I gently apply the colour and carefully put the flesh colours right up to it. I don't remove areas with a rubber. The photos below show this a bit more clearly.

The wooly hat was jolly and colourful, but I left the details soft and suggestive. If I had made the hat sharp-focussed, it may have detracted from the face - and it wasn't a portrait of the hat! SO soft focus and generalities do the job better. 

Ths phone above shows the two portraits side by side. 

I use Bristol paper (but not 'extra smooth' as it is plasticy and slippery) and mostly Carna d'Ache pencils. 

For portrait workshops, and workshops in oil painting, life drawing and water colour please email for programme information. Classes are held at Belfast Academy of Realist Art, and there is a life drawing class two Friday evenings a month.