Jul 202017

pencil sketch of King Charles 1 after van DykeNo, it’s no typo, I’m making an ilustration of Charles the first and my source is a picture “after van Dyke” so my sketch is “after after van Dyke”. You should be able to find the original easily if you google it. Not having the chap available to pose for me I have to resort to online referencing. In the past I would have gone to books or even the National Portrait Gallery for the necessary information. Google certainly speeds things up, but it has its drawbacks as I find myself increasingly stuck to my chair. On the other hand it opens up a whole new landscape of paths to wander as you research your subject. Try not to loose yourself.

This sketch is for an information page for the Battlefields Trust. It’s a little rough because the line work is intended to become the shadow in a colour version, so there was no point in doing a final finishing on the pencil sketch as I have a time pressure to complete the work. It’s 4B pencil on watercolour paper with some moderate grain so that it retains the feeling of an illustration that has been drawn. I’ve now scanned it into Photoshop. The next step is to put the colours in using Photoshop. There is a mode called Multiply in the layers panel which has the effect of painting from underneath the pencil lines.

This saves time and possible disasterous mistakes such as accidentally knocking your brush cleaning water over the entire picture and having to start again from scratch. Yes, that really does happen. The other one is someone (not you), putting their coffee cup down on a handy piece of paper to prevent damage to the table, only to say, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t realise that was one of your pictures!”…

You can tell I’m still scarred.

 Posted by at 08:59

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