Wednesday, 24 February 2010
The Sunshine Of Your Love (session 1 and 2)
I got this reference photograph from the Wet Canvas reference library, taken by photographer Cathy Sheeter who has kindly granted permission for me to use it. I have used several of Cathy's pictures for reference in the past, a fabulous resource for us artists.
So here is what I have so far. I'm using a 16 x 11 inch sheet of white Bristol board and a range of pencils from B to 8B, but almost entirely 3B and 6B. There is a faint outline drawing, just to make sure I get everything in the right place. As I'm right handed I work top to bottom, left to right and so begin with the hat. I'm going to go for much more contrast than the reference photo has so I'm going in a lot darker straight away. I'm using 3b mostly with 6b for the very black area. I use tortillons made from small pieces of rolled up paper to blend the graphite into the paper, then use my putty rubber to take out various shapes and textures before going in with my 3B to add a bit of detail. Then blend again, rubber again etc. until I get somewhere close to how the hat will look when finished, working a couple of inches at a time.
I've also put in the first eye. After the eyelid is complete I use my B pencil to shade the 'white' of the eye (they are never actually white) giving it a spherical appearance. I then draw a dark line around the iris before dragging the graphite toward the centre of the eye with swift strokes of my hard 6H. This close-up illustrates it a bit better. I then work with my 3B on the pupil, preserving the highlight and dragging the dark out to the outside of the eye. I end up with a nicely patterned iris with striations radiating out from the pupil. A small and delicate touch of my putty rubber to a small area of the iris makes the surface of the eye appear more translucent.
In this close-up you can also see a bit better the effect of the 'pre-drawing' of the hair with my 6H to give highlights and fly-away hairs.