Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Step Six, Frederick Douglass

I've had a few other distractions so I hadn't worked on this in about two weeks, but was able to get back to it earlier today. I believe I'm pretty close to being done with this, but I'm still not happy with the hair. I believe it needs more texture, primarily in the area from the upper left highlight over towards the right side. I'm also feeling that his left cheek (to our right) may be too "sunken" - I'll need to examine the photo reference better. I'll be attending the Ohio Civil War Collectors Show in Mansfield, OH this weekend, so between displaying it there, and here online, I'll get a better chance to study it more objectively. My primary concern is over-working and over "refining" it -- my tendency towards too much detail and nitpicking -- so I want to make sure I stop before that happens.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Step 5, Frederick Douglass

This portrait is moving along pretty quickly, since I've been working on it almost exclusively, rather than shifting back and forth from one piece to another. Now I just want to be careful to give it the time it needs, and not rush it in my enthusiasm to finish it. Still working only with the Artstix, though I did use a bit of odorless Turpenoid to blend some of the colors in the hair. I really don't intend to use the finer point pencils on this portrait at all. The hair looks too solid to me, particularly from his right temple upward and extending over to his left cheekbone, so I'll need to address that. I do like the way he's filling the space and the larger-than-lifesize scale adds drama to the expression.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Step 4, Frederick Douglass

Starting to get into some detail now, and this is where I want to be VERY careful: I like the intensity of the expression and the looseness of technique, and I don't want to dilute the effect by over-detailing the portrait. So far I've only added detail using the Artstix: Tuscan Red, Terra Cotta, Dark Umber, Black, Indigo Blue, Dark Green, Peach and Ultramarine. Right now I'm thinking I may not get into using any regular colored pencil at all. I also have lifted out some areas with a battery-powered eraser -- the Gessobord takes this type of eraser very effectively.