The Portrait Process

I haven’t drawn a portrait for someone in a while I was so glad of the practice when I was recently ask to again. I thought it would be fun to detail the process I follows to show you how a piece develops.

The first step is always to loosely sketch out the figures and I like to move the characters around a little, mainly to subtly hide the body parts I’m not very good at drawing but also to ensure they sit nicely on the page.
Family Portrait Sketch
Once done it’s a case of tidying up the lines with pencil before going over them with a fine pen. This is my favourite stage as the leap from a scrappy pencil drawing to a clean inked piece has such a big impact on me, I often think about leaving things here without adding any texture or shading.
Family Portrait Sketch
Then I’m in it for the long haul as it’s time to add the dots. This can take a while but I like to do this whilst listening to the radio or have the tv in the background as it allows me to switch off and go into autopilot. Luckily I haven’t made too many mistakes doing this but I’m always worried about doing so as there’s no undo option when working with pen and ink – they’re rather unforgiving. Once finished I then sign the piece, something I never used to do for reasons that would take far too long to explain.
Family Portrait Sketch
Then it’s a case of cutting it down to size, packaging it up and praying that it makes it’s way through the postal service in one piece. I’m slowly gaining trust in the postal service though I have had a piece go missing before which is just the saddest thing ever. I almost fell like attaching a piece of string to the package before I post it, that way if it goes missing I can give it a pull to return it to me.
Family Portrait Sketch

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