View Full Version : Help on first cp portrait.
02-10-2006, 04:01 AM
After lurking in this forum for months reading and learning I finally feel I have produced something worth posting. It is obviously very unfinished but I am very pleased with my progress so far.
The thing that is bothering me the most is the skin is not as smooth as I would like it. How can I get a smoother feel to the picture?
I have not psoted the ref pic as it is of an actor in UK and I am not sure if I would be allowed to post it.
Any C & C are most welcome (and eagerly awaited!)
Using prismas on white drawing cartridge paper.
I think there are plenty of us right now who have portraits on the brain--I am working on a self portrait in the D&S forum and the first thing that I noticed is the wonderful texture of the skin. I like this variety of tone that you have achieved.
I do think that you should, when you scan, keep the color scan but also make sure that you main a values record in grayscale as well.
I see so many people produce these wonderful line drawings and then add the colored pencils and totally lose the piece by not being brave enough with the values.
I think we have a value fairy lurking around somewhere.
Also, I think that before you go any further with this that you should move forward and finish both eye sections keeping in mind the values. IF you nail the likeness in the eyes then you are two thirds of the way home with the portrait.
You should be proud of this--its very nice work!! PUSH THOSE VAUES!!!
OH--BY THE WAY--LOVE THE THREE QUARTERS ANGLE!!
02-10-2006, 08:09 AM
Thanks JayD I have now nearly finished both eyes. There are still some values to do on his left eye (our right) to push it back slightly (well thats the idea anyway!!) I have also changed the angle of his mouth slightly what does eveyone think ok or does his mouth need to be a tad more horizontal?
Anyway here's the update and greyscale (thanks again JayD)
Ok, now are you working from a reference photo--if so would you mind posting it? The idea is to get your values as close to the reference photo as possible. I cn see right now that you definitely need to go deeper with the values. The other thing is that once you get into the flow of the picture--at some point you should put away the ref and start working from instinct but for now use the ref photo and your grayscales and keep comparing.
02-10-2006, 09:00 AM
JayD here's the ref pic and also in grey. I was thinking of finishing off his head before I go back over anything what do you think? I'm really quite scared of ruining the whole pic by doing too much (newbie thing I know!)
If you listen to all the colored pencil gurus over here they will tell you that you should always do your bacground first. There is a reason for that--the background directly effects your values in the face. I reset my avatar to show a work in progress that I am curently doing--its a self portrait and believe it or not I have not gone deep enough with the values yet.
You are looking good so far--just layer LIGHTLY--dont let the drawing hurry you along--this is something that I have learned the hard way --over and over again. Keep checking the values by comparing your updates in gray scale with the grayscaled photo reference. You are doing fine.
By the way who is this?--he is a very handsome man.
02-10-2006, 09:18 AM
Oops double post sorry
02-10-2006, 09:20 AM
Oops double post sorry
02-10-2006, 09:21 AM
Thank you JayD I have had to stop several times already when I feel I start to rush. I will keep going lightly.
Your avater looks really good and you say your values aren't right yet!!
I was planning on leaving the background white.
His name is Ross Kemp he is an actor here in the UK was in a soap opera for a long time over here as a "hard nut"
I know I should concentrate on one portrait at a time but my next I plan to do is "scully" (Gillian Anderson) from X-files will give me some practice with hair too!, just gotta find a good pic.
02-10-2006, 09:39 AM
Hi! I just wanted to say I like this work, you are doing a great job. If you put the greyscale of the ref beside the greyscale of your piece you will be able to see where you need darker darks and more contrast and all that value stuff. I liked his mouth more horizontal. I think looking at the ref that it looks like his bottom lip juts out a little which will be achieved by the dark shadow under his lower lip and the dark shadow between his lips. Thank you for posting, I am enjoying watching it develop.:D
Troy Rochford will be giving a class at the D&S forum Learning Center on female portraits in a few weeks so you might want to check it out..Its graphite only but it might enlighten you to some of the finer points of values. I am going to be doing one of my mother-in-law who was, in her day, a mega fox (my wife almost fell out of her chair when I said this).
He teaches using mechanical pencils so I am being forced to handle my pencils lighter--something I am very weak in in colored pencil!
02-10-2006, 10:38 AM
I took the liberty of putting the ref pic under your image in PS to take a look at what is going on here.
I lined these 2 images up by using the eyes, so hopefully can see the proportions of each pic. Overall, you have a good likeness going on here and I think your skin tones are very nicely done.
I don't use the method myself but there have been suggestions of using tissue paper (plain old tissue paper w/o lotions, etc.), folding it over and using it to smooth out the CPs.
Your version of the mouth is just a bit more crooked--the hard line you see is your CP marking, you've given him a fuller cheek than the ref and his chin is a bit too wide on your piece. Otherwise, you've done an excellent job of getting the proportions down!
It may not be very noticeable in this image, but on the right side at the top of his head (our right) your sketch line is a bit too wide.
Hope this helps and hope you don't mind that I played with our images. I think you're doing one heck of a good job and am anxious to see how you finish!! Skin tones are very difficult, but you seem to be having no problems!
Chisaii, that is a neat idea. I hope that we're not smoothing out the skin though--the texture of the skin is the big seller for me. Regarding the crooked mouth--to me its six of one half a dozen of the other--it slightly changes the expression but that is just a matter of my personal opinion and should be dismissed as such if need be.
02-10-2006, 11:04 AM
Wow, he looks like my Uncle Jack with no hair!
It's looking great!
02-10-2006, 12:55 PM
Desktopflame, this is awesome so far! I have never seen the actor but you are doing a terrific job. I'm new to CP too so hard to give advice, but from what others have written, I think you're well on your way to a career in CP!! :-)
02-10-2006, 01:26 PM
Just like to add that this is a very good likeness of Ross Kemp. I remember him as Grant in "Eastenders" and this portrait looks exactly like him. Thanks for sharing it with us.
02-10-2006, 01:30 PM
Looking very good already, I saw it was Grant Mitchell before I read his name.
I am a great fan of Eastenders .:D
Hope to see un update soon
02-10-2006, 01:35 PM
You're doing a great job with those tricky skin tones. I agree with everything JayD's had to say, values are very important and probably the hardest thing to get brave enough to do in the beginning ;)
As Chisaii said IF you're wanting smoother skin tone (and it doesn't always work to use it because the texture of your pencil marks really helps give that textured look to the skin that most of us over 20 have to a certain extent :)) then tissues are a great way to achieve it. Another thing to consider is using a good quality paper that works well for CP, cartridge paper can be great for graphite etc but not always the easiest to work on for CP. Something like a hotpressed paper or stonehenge etc are great supports to begin with. With good quality papers like those it's much easier to get even distribution with your pencils, it also allows you to get into some other effects too.
ANYWAY the important thing here is, your drawing was really great. The likeness is really good and the places where you're off by a little haven't affected the likeness. I quite like that quirky mouth :) And getting skin tone down is the most difficult thing to achieve in CP portraits so you're half way there already. I can't wait to see where you go with this because this is just so good for an early attempt :)
02-10-2006, 10:41 PM
I'm glad you decided to post this portrait. You're doing very well.
02-11-2006, 06:30 AM
Ok here's the update, I did his eyebrows and then when I stood back to take a look they stood out like a sore thumb, so I retract my statement on finishing the head before I go over anything else and have spent the past few hours adding more values to his skin, I also have worked a bit on his mouth and nose. The eyebrows don't seem to stand out as much now. I also changed the shape of his head slightly (thanks Chisaii)
So guys.....are my values getting better?
02-11-2006, 07:53 AM
Sore thumbs or not. This is looking good. Your eyes are both looking in different directions. Check on them! I love the smirk on this guys face. Looking great!
02-11-2006, 09:35 AM
He's looking very good. Trust your instincts. Don't be afraid to gradually go for the darker pencils. Do you have a value viewer (small business card sized piece of white paper with a hole punched in it) to verify the actual color of the skin you are looking at?
I recommend using a nice hot press paper inthe future for colored pencils work, such as Fabriano or Arches hot press. I think the texture you have works for a man of his age.
But when you start working on female portraits, you'll want a surface that accepts many fine layers, such as a good hot press paper, like Wendy said. You can also go over the skin with peach or light peach in between your darker layers to get a nice smooth finish.
Remember with the hair and eyebrows to put skin colors down first where you can see the scalp through the hairs.
02-11-2006, 06:50 PM
I like the expression you already have in his eyes! :clap:
02-11-2006, 07:59 PM
Hey Desktop, I think this is absolutely incredible!!!! It can't possibly be your first CP picture!
I have found that if I'm not happy with the texture of my picture, I just keep adding more light layers and keeping my pencils very sharp. Eventually, as it reaches saturation, you will achieve a smoother look. It really all depends on what kind of paper you're using. I'm not familiar with cartridge paper. What brand is it, what weight and texture?
Anyway, you're doing a terrific job on this portrait!! :clap:
02-12-2006, 07:02 AM
I'm having a day off from drawing today (got to go to work too)
Marilyn - I've been looking but I just cant see what you mean about his eyes. Please can you tell me what you mean so I can correct it.
BKWYRM - I do not have a value viewer will have to make one up.
Elwyn - I have been used to drawing in graphite since I was a teenager. Stopped drawing for about 10 years and have just got back into it. When I say this is my first portrait in CP I mean it's the first one that I think is actually good enough to post for you guys to see!! The paper I'm using was bought as a xmas pressie for me. Not one I'd have gone for myself but thought I'd use it. Its made by Winsor & Newton 110gsm says its cartridge sketch pad for drawing. I've learnt so much from this site by reading everyone elses posts. I would not be able to have done this portrait without "lurking" in here for a few months!!
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