5 Babies

Hi all, today I have a portrait again, after a long while. This drawing of five children presented me with some challenges, starting with not having the paper that I would have liked to use. I have come to love working with the Aquafine smooth watercolour paper by Daler Rowney, but sadly, their largest size, A3, wouldn’t do for this commission. I have a pad of A2 acrylic paper, though, also by Daler Rowney, the front of which has an embossed linen like texture, but the back looks very smooth, so that is what I used. It wasn’t as easy to work on as I had hoped, in that I was unable to apply much graphite all at once, as it wouldn’t hold it, and had to apply layer after layer and work it in, to achieve the depths I needed.

I was asked to use images which portrayed the children at roughly the same period in their lives, even though their ages differ widely in reality. The photographs mostly were small and / or lacking focus for such a task, although the poor client hunted high and low to find suitable images. Nowadays, in situations like this, I strictly stick to drawing what I see, rather than adding detail which the reference photograph does not yield. This inevitably means that paper stumps and putty rubbers see plenty action in order to defuse small detail and the drawing may look a little less refined than usual. But. That way it will look exactly as the photograph and I am not misinterpreting anything. Overall, the result is not bad, I think, as does the client.

I have spent ages online yesterday trying to get an idea what paper is best to use for photorealism/hyperrealism, but I am still somewhat undecided. It is a bit of a pain that everything is internet sourced these days, I much prefer to go into a shop and see/feel what I am buying. Living where I do, though, that is not going to happen in a hurry, so if any of you have any advice that you could share, please do.

5 Babies Drawing

5 Babies. Graphite pencil on the back of A2 acrylic paper.


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