Monday, May 26, 2008
My latest portrait commission is Gaby, a lovely German Shepherd. This portrait is mixed media (India ink, watercolor & color pencil) on textured Claybord (now known as Aquabord). Claybord is a masonite board coated with an absorbent/scratchable surface, it has a rough texture that reacts similarly to watercolor paper. The advantage is that paint can be lifted off easily and thesurface can be scratched to add fur texture. Manufactured by Ampersand, it's a great surface for my mixed media portraits. I use it when my client wants a realistic color portrait - as opposed to a realistic grey toned portrait (which I would do in pencil on paper or ink on scratchboard). You can find Claybord/Aquabord at Blick Art Materials (type "aquabord" in the search box, note that it's "bord" not "board").
I scanned the portrait along the way to illustrate my progress.
Color reference photo of Gaby.
I've drawn in the darkest darks with India ink in a Rapidograph pen.
Here I've added watercolor to block in the basic colors.
Next, I scratched most of the portrait with a #16 X-acto knife. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a brain fade and forgot to scan it after that step! The portrait was much lighter at that point and the colors were better blended together than in the above image.
The last steps were to add watercolor over the scratched areas, and a bit of India ink in some of the darkest areas. Then I went over the top with color pencil to add the final details and blend some of the shades.
I also put together a video with a time-lapse of the portrait.