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Thursday, 5 July 2007

My Portrait Process

I have read many books and magazines describing the process used to achieve a great painting, but at the end of the day it's what works for you.....
So what does work for me?
Above is a pastel portrait that I started a couple of days ago. First in the process was to transfer the picture onto my computer, I cropped, lightened & increased the contrast, then printed the image the size I wanted, sometimes this could mean splitting the image over two or three pages. When I'm happy with the results I use tracing paper to trace a basic outline of the image using a B grade graphite pencil. Then on the reverse side using either a white or brown pastel pencil I draw the image again following carefully the lines on the other side, the tracing is then taped onto the surface chosen for the finnished portrait, pastel side down, I carefully draw the image again this time using a harder graphite pencil H or H2 this will leave a light copy on the chosen surface. ( I find this method allows me to move the image around my paper trying different compositions. )
Is this cheating?....Not at all, even the great masters had their own ways of acheiving great paintings.
Jan Vermeer 1632 - 1675 who painted some lovely portraits including Girl with the Pearl Earing is reputed to have used a Camera Obscura to help in the process.

2 comments:

Amel's Realm said...

Well, if it's called cheating, then everybody can do it. However, even if I try doing it, I wouldn't be able to produce it like that he he he...Each artist has different touches, doesn't it?

Azzitizz said...

My seven year old Daughter is amazed at your drawings, her favorite so far is 'Poppies' She thought it was a photograph because it was so good.
She can't wait to see the GSD being completed bit by bit, then again, neither can I.
Excellent!
:D