Sunday, October 19, 2014

Baby in Graphite WIP 6

The photo below shows how the portrait looks after the initial blending.  As you can see, there are subtle changes on the skin that give it minimal definition.  Since the graphite is blended over the majority of the area, the missing highlights make a huge difference in the appearance of the skin (easiest to see on the dark ear).   The harsh lighting to the right was left alone for maximum impact.  This step is always exciting and a little frightening at the same time, because I know a major change is about to happen with the chiseling out of the features. :)

The right side of the face (from our point of view) held the harshest lighting and darkest shadows.  So, graphite was pulled out with a kneaded and click eraser and more layers added to the folds of the ear, creases under the eye, cheek and jaw line... again, with the most noticeable change being the ear.  This has to be my most favorite part of graphite work.  The initial mapping can be so tedious, which is amazing since I will physically smear all of that hard work, but this step makes it all worth while.  I can still make out plane changes and those careful details simply get built up to the finished product.

I put a few shadows under his face to help determine whether my shading on the lower jaw was dark enough.  The face is going to be left alone until the clothing has been completed.  Clothing is a major comfort zone for me, so I look forward to getting lost in the folds.  ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Baby in Graphite WIP 5

Here is a glimpse into the early work stages of the skin in a portrait.  This photo captures the initial mapping of the rest of the check area and ear.  Although this little guys skin is baby smooth, the beginning layout of graphite is subtle for all types of subjects, even if the person has advanced age lines.  There might be a few areas that the pencil lines are very tight and appear more dense; but overall, this is simply a road map of where the shadows and plane changes appear.   It is a little difficult to see the pencil marks on the Bristol in this size, but you can click on the image to enlarge.  The next step will be to blend the entire area with the exception of small areas of  harsh highlights.  Then, the erasing and building up of graphite will begin.  :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baby in Graphite WIP 4

Such a tremendous change in temperature around here,  I can honestly say that it is chilly outside.  My time has been split between working on my Hummingbird quilt (while the real ones fight at the feeder outside my window) and making a little more progress at the drawing board.  Here is a glimpse of this little guy's eye after it has had its initial blending... very flat, but you can see the undercurrent of what the depth of his iris will be.

After a little lifting of graphite-- more blending-- more lifting etc. etc., here is where the eye is at currently.  A little more definition and some highlights to the lashes are needed, but it is getting closer to completion.  ;)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Baby in Graphite WIP 3

Vacation and a warmer than usual studio have slowed progress on this drawing.   This photo was taken with my overhead light on.  It was an intentional wash out to lose the blotchy look from lack of natural light.  As you can see, I am working my way across the forehead.   Not too much time is being spent in that area until the eye makes an appearance.  The darkest shading from the eye will be what sets the tone for the area surrounding, but I wanted to get the basic shading in.  Babies have such an odd hairline.  It is fun to try and make the fuzzy new hair come to life. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Baby in Graphite WIP 2

Where is the rest of the hair?  The question ran across my mind last night after I had already begun work on this little guy's mouth. LOL  All I really remember was sitting down, wondering how difficult the nose would be to shape, and finding myself correcting the line drawing on the lower lip while contemplating it.  One line led to shading, and shading led to working my way up to his nose.  Once it occurred to me that I really should have continued with the hair, I was too far gone.   The work flow goes like that some times, and as we all know, the rest of the drawing will get done in its own time. :)
The mouth had lots of nice creases and dark shading compared to the rest of the features, but the lack of size made it take a little more time than I anticipated.  But after all the layering and erasing, I am satisfied with the results. 
In this updated photo, the features appear to have a lot of contrast, but that is a trick of the camera.  The shading is true to the graphite that created it and very subtle in appearance.  So for my preference, a softer lead will come out at a later time and give a little more push to the darkest areas.

His nose has such slight variations in the skin tone.  Kind of crazy really, since there is a lot going on in that small area.  The nostrils always have that defining outer edge and inner shadow, but the area surrounding them could almost make one insane with the lack of strong contrasts.  I took a slight amount of artistic license to pull it together and was tempted to keep moving to the right.  But, I decided to stop myself at that point.  I really need to keep moving up or risk losing a place to rest my hand. ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Graphite Baby Portrait WIP Continued

I am moving right along into the hair.  With the exception of the long wisps on the top, this little guy has some very light and super fine hair.  It is really challenging me.  For right now, the goal is to finish all the hair and then step back and refine it.  The camera's focus was on his facial features, leaving the hair with very little definition.  It almost blends in with the underlying flesh tone.  I am not sure if a little artistic license will be needed, when it is all on paper. 


Graphite is not the kindest form of art to photograph.  I purchased a Canon Rebel T3i for Christmas and need to start messing with the settings and lighting.  But I think, this shows the work well enough for now.  :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Graphite Baby Portrait on Bristol WIP

We have been having the most beautiful weather this week, including today-- my birthday. ;)  I have been able to open the door to my little studio and work away without a fan drying out my eyes.  It has been such a pleasure spending time finding my way thru the maze of an infant's face.  Drawing is tied with walking as a stress reliever in my life... very therapeutic.
Here is quick look at the progress on my attempt at a baby portrait.  My initial shading began on the ear... HUGE mistake.  It was reminiscent of starting on the nose of Anne.  So right away, I switched my attention to the eye.  By picking the darkest spot on his face, it has set the tone for the rest of the shading. 
I am finding that infant skin does not require as much mapping as compared to an adults.  But with less mapping comes the challenge of making the subtle transitions show up but not overwhelm the features-- or worse, make the skin do some unusual caving or projecting outward.  It has been an enjoyable process to work with a new type of subject matter.  His hair makes me a little nervous, since it is very light.  So, I am heading in that direction next.  :)