Process, Part One

One of my very best friends’ birthday is today, and I’m working on a present for her! I usually procrastinate about birthday presents, or write it off as too difficult to get done in time during the semester, but this time I’m resolute, and it WILL happen.

My friend/roommate Tori is a photography/design/printmaking major, and she works super well with models and people in general. She takes great photos of all her friends, and I felt it was high time I made her a nice portrait of herself too. I’m aiming for an illustrative, semi-narrative, not-so-traditional angle. So! Here’s the first part of the process:

My thumbnails are usually pretty rough, and I like to base my composition on a shape or flow of motion that appeals to me and works with the subject. I draw focus to what’s important in the piece by using the shape of the elements. In this case, the composition is directing the eye up to her head.

Then I work out a rough sketch to solidify more aspects of the piece, such as where the light is coming from, general values, proportions, etc. Often my sketches are peppered with notes about what kind of color-mixing or painting technique I want to use for the final. Here I’ve decided I want hard lighting nearer the top, and more diffused lighting going down the piece, where foggy San Francisco is sitting.

My next steps are to draw it all again, bigger, and to work out even more kinks and details. Refine, refine, refine.

That’s it for now! Tune in soon to see the next phase of my work.



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