I’ve been working on a series of portraits as a method of working though my thoughts and feelings surrounding the Orlando Massacre. I started the series using BIC pens but they seemed to colorful for the grim theme, and I switched to pencils pretty quickly. These images have almost exclusively been drawing with Palomino Blackwing pencils. I’ve used the MMX (original Palomino version), Pearl, and the 24. I’ve also used the Casemate’s Premium as well as a few Pentel Sign pens*. I am drawing all of these images in a Hand Book travelogue series sketchbook- 5.5×7.5 in size. Each image is takes up roughly one spread in the book, with the bulk of the image on one page.Doing a portrait series like this is a GREAT way to get drawing portraits. As these people are relatively well known, there are loads of images available via Google.
The pencils I've been using to draw these portraits are as follows Palomino Blackwing MMX, Palomino Pearl, 2 Palomino Blackwing 24, and a faber-castell eraser pencil. The Blackwing 211 is freshly sharpened to give you a sense of how much of the pencils I've been using for these portraits. I start each portrait with a freshly sharpened pencil and I do not sharpen it throughout the portrait I only sharpened it after the portrait is finished. The Pentel sign pen as well as the Stylo our new acquisitions that I've been using here and there for a couple of portraits and I'll be reviewing them on my blog as well as comparing them at some point. I've got 15 more of the 45 Senators / shitbags to draw.
I look at about a dozen images and use them to create a single image. I might use the eyes from one image, the nose from another, and the mouth from another. Finally I look at how the lighting affects the shading of their face and I take this into account. I am NOT trying to create flattering portraits. They are meant to be unflattering and harsh. Think Alice Neel’s realism. If I were to use colors there would be a strong pink, yellow, and orange coloration in these images.
I try to spend no more than 10 to 15 minutes per drawing and I try not to erase unless I need to bring out a highlight. This is going to be an image heavy post, so I’ll hide a few image after the cut.