Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Different Kind of Portrait

I had forgotten to share this photo of a portrait I had been commissioned to draw so I'm going to post it now. This portrait was done as a surprise for it's likeness, Angie, pictured here with the drawing. I had been asked by one of Angie's friends to draw a portrait of her from this self portrait photo that she took of herself and present it to her at my Providence Art Club exhibit. Pictured here, she is seeing the drawing for the first time. And since this was a surprise for Angie, I didn't post the image as I was working on it and then just got busy, absentmindedly forgot, so I'm doing it now.

The photo was black and white but had a sense of color to the gray tones. I was intrigued by her pose, the colors/values and the body art on Angie's forearm which reads Harmony, a tribute her young daughter. I used only a few colored pencils to achieve this the values: Slate Gray, Cool Grey 50%, Tuscan Red, Indigo Blue, Black Cherry, Black Grape and Black. While I wanted it to read as a black and white photo, I chose to give it warm tones of colorful darks. I worked on Strathmore rag illustration board which has a texture so I used bristle brush to burnish the colors into the board as I was working. The most difficult part was the top left which is a solid dark. I achieved this by layering color over color starting with Tuscan Red, adding a second layer of Indigo Blue and a third layer of Black Grape using a light even pressure then burnishing between each layer of pencil. This combination was too colorful and not dark enough so I added a layer of black on top letting the bottom layers of color show through. It took several layers and a lot of burnishing to achieve the rich dark I was looking for.

Our Art Boot Camp ended yesterday and I have to say it was a rewarding session for both students and instructors myself and Felicia Touhey. I have to share one comment that was made at the end of class when the students were laying out their work for everyone to view. One of the students said to Felicia and I with a big smile on her face: "You must be so proud of us and all that we achieved in this session!" Yes, we are absolutely proud of the students. To me that is the biggest reward an instructor could want, helping students to learn, to grow and feel a sense of accomplishment.

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