Medium: Graphite (leads 2B, B, F, 3H, 6H 7H)
Size: A2 (594mm x 420mm)
Paper: Goldline Bristol board pad 220gsm
Duration: 16 hrs
This is the third and final of three commission sketches in graphite, this one, the main one is of the entire family, and probably one of the most enjoyable sketches I’ve rendered for a long time.
The original reference photo, wasn’t the best to work with, and the composition between the family members needed some tweaking (one child was alone on the right hand side and the other child was next to his dad with the mother alone in the middle of the photo), so I loaded the original photo I was given into Photoshop and moved the boy on the left closer to his mum and also brought the other sibling and his dad closer to make an athestically more pleasing composition.
Now that I had the composition I wanted, I soon realised that I would be sketching quite a lot of flesh and skin tones (boy do I like a challenge or what?) I also tried to linked the hi-lights in all of their eyes and sunglasses and make them similar, so I took as a basis, the reflection in the mother’s glasses (as “Brian” a dear old artist friend commented – reflections are a great aid to the artist) and tried to replicated this reflection in all the other’s eyes. I think it worked as you don’t notice it at first, but the link is there. The skin wasn’t as too bad as I had imagined and went onto the paper fairly quickly with careful cross hatching, now some folks would scream at the thought of cross hatching visibly on skin, but I wanted these figures to seen as being sketched and not mistaken as photos and cross hatching (I think) tells the viewer it’s not a photo but a sketch – see?).
The toughest time I had was in all four hairstyles which ranged in shade, texture and wetness, the first boy (on the left) had to have just wet damp hair, the mum posed a seperate challenge with her hair more loose and blowing in the wind, the other sibling had that kind of hair which is just starting to dry with a few dry strands blowing out in the breeze, but the daddy of all the hairstyles was with the dad himself, I think this is a first for me, short blonde straight and slightly ruffled hair (his hair took me over 2 hours alone!). The thing I like the most from this whole final sketch (apart from the hair, skin tones and teeth!) is how I used the towel as an anchor, it kind of pulls the figures closer together, sort of.
Well tommorrow is going to be the big day when I meet up with the client and find out whether or not he is satisfied with my art on these three pieces (which is going to a present for his wife in a few days). Hope she likes my efforts, otherwise the school runs I see her every day are going to be kind of akward!
Client called round today and was very impressed with all three, especially so with this last one, he never expected them to turn out so great! (Me happy now!).