This is my 1st ever portrait. PHEW!!! It’s tough, everything about it, the skin tone, the expression etc..
This is a portrait of my nephew, Gabriel, from my 2nd youngest brother, Julian and Nicole, who are residing in Shanghai currently. Gabby is now almost 6 years old. I came about this photo of his on Facebook, posted by his mom. It immediately caught my attention. The composition of the whole image is just too good to not paint it, especially with the franggipanni flowers on each ear, too cute!
This is how I started on the sketch. I used the grid system. I used a tracing paper and draw out a 1″x 1″ grid and put it against the reference photo, which I enlarged it to A4 size. Then proceed to draw the grind very lightly with a ‘H’ graphite pencil on the drawing paper, the grind size on it is 2″x 2″. Some people may trace it, but I just don’t get tracing, never like it.
From there, free hand all the way. The grind really help for accuracy. Of course, I can never get 100% but that’s the point of painting, I want it to have the feel of a painting rather than a photo.
It took me almost 1 month to complete since I have other things occupying my time rather than just paintings. I did this portrait on a A3, 300gm cold pressed watercolour paper. It’s not really ideal for colour pencils as they have quite a rough tooth surface, eats up the pencils. But funny, I rather like it, it makes the portrait looks painted.
A bit of flaws here and there that got me so irritated because of the heavy pressure of blending. Was contemplating to throw it away, but keep telling myself to hang on since this was the 3rd try already. But after I sprayed it with the fixative, it seems to heal!!!
I guess, after this portrait, I’ll lay off doing another. It quite intimidating because portraits are alive, humans, animals etc.. But I don’t mind animal though, they are quite fun to paint. Will be doing someone’s pet next, it’s sort of my 1st commissioned work. I refused to do it but the owner was very persistent, she keep asking me to try and willing to pay whatever amount for it, sigh…
Well, I’ll try and see how’s the outcome, take it as a challenge!!