Thursday, December 26, 2013
Surprise Portrait: Katie the Christmas Elf
This year, my mother had an item on her Christmas list that had very specific details and came from a very specific place. It was not available online. A couple of weeks before Christmas, I went to pick up this item from the store, but I found that the only two they had left were damaged. I panicked.
I looked around for someone to help me, but I was standing in one of the tightest spots in the store. I kept having to step back and forth to let people by, but finally I found a store employee to help me. We checked all the shelves, and we looked online, but there were no more of the gift to be found. Thanking him, I put my thinking cap on. How could I get this done?
So, for my friend and fellow cat-enthusiast/spinster, I decided there should be a very special Christmas/thank-you gift. Since it was coming from me, of course it would be a portrait.
Katie and I have been talking about trading artwork for our apartments for years, as Katie is an art teacher and is technically more qualified to be making art than I am. She does, after all, have both a BFA and a Master's degree in this stuff. but this time, I made good on my threat.
To the left you'll see the process photos and then the final product. I have to say this was a bit of a challenge for me and didn't quite turn out exactly as I had hoped or envisioned, but I think it's ok nonetheless. The
challenge came when I decided that this should be drawn on 24"x36" BFK Rives instead of my regular 9"x12" Graphics 360 marker paper. Graphics 360 is both much smoother and, in the format I usually use, much smaller. However, I think we can all agree that a larger drawing has more of an impact.
I used Black Prismacolor pencil to do all the drawing and shading which I think I may do differently next time. I think graphite makes a lot more sense when you're doing something of this scale. I needed to be able to erase more often. Also, I couldn't find my kneaded eraser, so I had to use a magic rub.
In any case, for a first effort on this scale since college, I think it turned out ok. As you can see if you're following the progress of the process photos, I had a little trouble with the chin, nose, and the side of the face. Somehow I had drawn Katie with a slight underbite that she certainly does not have. In the end, I had to cover this up by adding a little dark shading around the edges, which I hope solved the problem.
Below you'll see the final product. I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and are looking forward to a happy new year! More Drawings coming tomorrow, though, there is less process talk.