Inana’s Portrait – Reilly Method

This method really helps to get the likeness of the subjects. It’s based on relationships. I think there are methods that seem to feel more natural than others. I have tried Bridgman’s too and Loomis. There are some overlaps, it is helpful to learn about them all as they form a good foundation for the understanding of the head structure (full body anatomy as well)

I did several tries, I wanted to get the likeness but also to enhance what the model projects, she is classy and elegant naturally, a piercing glance with confidence yet very sweet.

The hair mass was fun to do. natural curls and jet black. black hair can be challenging to show texture and the direction of the strands, I used the finest point I had to give a loose texture all around the edge to suggest curly hair, and the natural shine of black hair. In reality the highlights are blue but with a black and white translation it’s just a matter of value. I was frugal with expression lines, with women and children, too many lines can age the face very quickly even if one is true to original. The rule of less is more.

2018-03-19 12.33.20I put special attention to the lips, it’s easy to fall into doing an outline, when the subject has lipstick and lip liner but again, it needs to be treated as value and breaking the mini volumes that form the cluster of the lip shapes, each of these mini volumes shaded in isolation for the final sum of the whole effect. Same with the 6 parts of the nose, the bony part the cartilage split in half, the wings and the tip of the nose. In some faces the split it’s almost invisible making out a very exquisite ball of the nose. It is necessary to be aware of this even if those lines are not drawn, if you understand what is to be found you can understand it’s visible absence too, or if a little hint is needed.

This method allows placing of the features in the right place, by drawing the spaces and delimitating the areas where the planes meet. It makes shading easier too as you see which planes, as the mapping shows, are in shadow, light, and where midtowns are as well. At the final pass in the inking process is really a process of elimination of the pencil work, with as few lines as possible, keeping ONLY those lines and shadows that tell the story of this face, it’s identity.

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Pen and Ink Portraits November

Portraits it’s my favourite subject. I have found a lot of inspiration in images from the SKCHY app community.

These portraits take from 20 to 40 min and are all done with a Lamy Pen, a pen and nib holder for the heavier lines, and the Pentel Brush on Stillman and Birn paper, Beta series.

I’m trying to be more defined by investing more time in detail. From the begining I set my mind in how much time I want to spend on the sketch. Then I draw my lines accordingly slowing down or taking time with the strokes. There is a significant difference between short or longer sketches. I always aim for the sketch to “feel” complete so when i work I work all over, like i don’t start with an eye making it all detailed, I start with an oval shape, placing marks and looking for distinct features that makes that particular face unique, I then exaggerate a little those features and find a touch of beauty that comes naturally. There is a difference in how I see and feel a face from what I try to translate it to lines. Like having an insight on what the face expresses to me. I try to reveal those thoughts visually.

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Portraits

This week I though it’s been a while since I have done portraits, so I decided to chose a good subject, the TV series Game of Thrones. The characters are very interesting and have fascinating depth. I thought it would be fun to try to convey my understanding of the characters through expression.

For this series, I used Higgins permanent ink and Brause nibs. About 4 different nib sizes and my usual Stillman and Birn notebook, Zeta Series, excellent for ink!

I chose the first characters randomly and I enjoyed myself so much that I kept going for about three days, completing several portraits. This is the first set of the week. Each took me about 30 min.

My general process is the following:

First it’s the proportions and marks to set the placement of the features. Once that was resolved, I did a brief inking process with the finest point, and decide on the focal point,  usually it’s the eyes. The eyes and mouth are the main keys to resolve any portrait, yet every face has a distinct feature that no one else has, like a fingerprint, my goal is always to discover what makes this face unique, and then exaggerate that slightly to get the likeness. I also chose an emotion that I see is recurrent to that character.

I have done portraits for over 20 years; it is in fact my favorite subject. Facial features fascinate me, and I have discovered so much in the process of drawing them. The face is asymmetric, as we tend to do gestures with one half of the face more often than the other, this creates lines of expression that, with the years, become permanent. Half of the face has a sweeter expression than the other half. If two pictures were composed of two reflected halves from each side of the face we would see almost an entirely different person in some cases.

I keep this in mind when I draw portraits. My trick is to exaggerate that difference to get the resemblance, observing what is unique.

Actor Jason Momoa is an exception. He has an outstandingly symmetrical face. That was very interesting to me. Since I couldn’t do my usual approach I had to stop and analyzed what made his face unique. Undoubtedly he had striking features. I focused on the eyes. A very distinct shape and expression.

I started by drawing him from a high resolution photograph where I could see good detail. The facial hair that his character wears on the TV series Game of Thrones made it difficult to see the jaw line and the shape of the face clearly; I decided to transform this drawing into Khal Drogo on my own, based on several images.

In the first sketch you can see the completed sketch off the photo and the following sketch shows the final drawing where I gave myself artistic freedom to add what was needed so he could look like the character he portrays.

Materials:

Support:
Surface: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

The drawing was done on a Beta Series Notebook, wire-bound, 9″ x 12″. I always use heavy stock as I can have the option to add watercolor if I wanted to.

The paper is white yet the images were taken under a yellowish light and it looks like colored paper, but it’s not, yet, I liked how it looked.
I used permanent ink, again, just in case if I wanted to add watercolor. I always use permanent ink so it won’t run.
In the series of portraits of this particular TV show I was consistent using the same media, same paper, ink, and fine flexible nib with a short holder.

My favorite series are the Beta and Zeta, the Zeta I use when I work solely in ink; the Beta series have the extra tooth that work really well with water media without warping. This portrait was heavy on the ink, the Zeta could have take it, but I still may turn this into watercolor renderings at some point.

I made portraits of other characters as well that can be seen in my blog noted below.

Khal Drogo before and after

momoaDrogo

Jon Snow


Khalesi

Tywin Lannister

Cersei Lannister

Ramsay Bolton

Sansa Stark

No one

Arya Stark