Looking at a Piecemeal PortraitJune 21, 2017
I’ve been writing about my “piecemeal portraits” for a couple years now. Recently I took a couple process shots while I was making one from a photo inspiration on Sktchy. My photographs aren’t taken with lights and so the color is off, but you can still get the idea.
I’m working on setting up a photo station where I can take photos and video while I sketch so I can post tutorials.
Until that happens I thought you still might enjoy the process photos I do have.
At the left you can see the finished piecemeal portrait I’m going to write about today. I used an inspiration image from the Sktchy App. While artists own the image they create the photos are still owned by the “Muse” and I can’t publish it without permission. I never heard back when I requested permission. You’ll just have to understand this was a very lovely young woman who was pulling a really odd face that I couldn’t resist drawing. While in the app she posted that she liked the image, I can understand why someone that pretty might not want to have their name and photo posted on a blog.
I used a brush pen because I wanted to work quickly. I worked on a piece of French Paper Speckletone, because it was out, leftover from my April 2017 IFJM Journal Project.
But as always happens with piecemeal portraits I started going of the page and so I add more paper. That’s why the central sketch ended up on a piece of Hahnemühle Nostalgie.
Why Do I Take These Process Images?
Well sometimes while I’m working I think that I’m on to something and I want to share it with my students. Any photos, regardless of lighting are better than nothing. But other times I like to take process shots because I want to save a record of a step for myself, but don’t want to take time to scan the image at that stage, or can’t do so without waking Dick up. (My studio is close to the bedroom and the scanner is a little loud. When I’m painting I often stay up late.)
If you would like to read more about my piecemeal process please use the search engine or the category list on this blog.
About Today’s Images and the Media
I love using a brush pen, but I don’t just like using black-ink brush pens. Bienfang makes a Watercolor brush pen that has pigmented “ink” in the barrel. The Bienfang Watercolor Brush Pen actually is lightfast. Use the search engine to find other sketches I’ve made with this pen. It will give fun results even on non-watercolor paper. And the pen is a quick way to play with values.
At the left you can see a magenta brush pen used on printmaking paper that is not heavily sized. The ink sinks in more than it does in the linked example at the end of the previous paragraph. On the print making paper I wouldn’t try to push the ink around and dilute it with water. It’s still fun, it’s just a different approach.
In today’s piecemeal portrait I used a Bienfang Watercolor Brush Pen, magenta, just like the image at the left. I was also working on non-wet media paper. I knew I wasn’t going to use water on the ink. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t paint over it and if some dissolved a little into the paint…?
I created this portrait after a month of sketching very tightly. Once April ended I grabbed my brush pen and started sketching everything in sight. And I also got out my gouache paints. I loved working in the “tinting” fashion I did while doing my fake journal in April, but I was longing for the opportunity to push paint around and get out the acrylic markers.
In the images that follow you can see the progression of this piece. Once I started the painting of the hair I got lost in the painting and stopped taking process photos. If I can get around to making a painting stand with a camera attached eventually there will be more steps.
The final image in the gallery is the same image which starts this post.
Gallery of Steps in Today’s Piecemeal Portrait