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.  :)   

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Baby Portrait in Graphite ~ New Huion Light Pad

With space being in limited supply around my studio, I decided to replace my old light box with the new Huion Light Pad.  The pad is 23.5 inches with a working space of 16 x 12.  Since it is one of the larger models, it has a regular cord that plugs into the wall.  You cannot see it from the photo, but there is a spot that is flush on the upper left corner that controls the brightness.  One touch turns it on.  Continued pressure gradually makes the pad brighter, peaking at the brightest, then back to dark.  An additional touch after returning to dark, turns off the pad.  It is truly a space saver being under a half an inch thick.  It is also run by LED lighting, so it should have illuminating longevity in its future. :)


The light pad throws off quite a bit of a glow in the studio on its brightest setting.  The huge plus is that I found a use for my plexi drawing bridge.  When placed underneath, it helps to give the right amount of tilt when transferring a drawing.

My son's baby portraits were done with a full body pose.  So, the hunt has been on for a facial portrait of an infant around half a year or older.  This was a little bit more of a challenge than I thought.  Thankfully, a friend came up with an old photo. :) 

Just to show the intensity of the pad, here is the set up for the transfer on the newest composition.  I sketched out the drawing on transfer paper and used a ultra fine black marker to eliminate smudging.  In this photo, the sketch is under a piece of Bristol board.  The Huion holds its own in the illumination department.  Plus, it does not create a light that irritates my vision! :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Anne Hatheway Graphite Portrait ~ Finished

The weather outside was filled with  sunshine and warmth today.   Beautiful weather for the local Easter egg hunts.  :)  My morning was spent running errands and the afternoon cleaning our little pond.   After all the days activities came to an end, I was able to spend the evening drawing in my messy little studio with windows wide open. *sigh*    As you can see below, the portrait has been completed.  I am pleased with the results and feel that I have learned a lot during the process.   My fear of doing human portraits has been lessened by sticking with this one till completion.  I am so happy that I didn't shelve it a few posts back. :)   

I look forward to relaxing tomorrow... Easter will be a day of enjoying a visit with family and contemplating my next subject.  Although there are a few animal compositions that would be fun,  I find myself wondering how difficult an infant portrait would be to render on Bristol.  The features would be such a challenge from everything that I have done before.  Of course, a bigger challenge would be finding a descent photo to draw from! ;)  I will have to go on a mad search of friends, family or the Internet again.   I will more than likely have to draw another subject in the between time and that's okay, too.  :)  For right now, I am ready to put away this piece.  Since tomorrow will be here soon, I would like to wish you all ...

A Happy Easter!