Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jamestown Sea Captain and my busy summer.

                                                               Jamestown Sea Captain
                                                   Colored Pencil on Graphix Frosted Acetate
                                                                         17.25 X 11

Each year I find that summer seems to play tricks on a person, it sounds like a long season, "Those lazy hazy days of summer".  But in reality they are fffffffffaaaaaaaasttttttttttt!  Whizzing by at ultrasonic speeds, no time to catch your breath, enjoy, or even get art enough art finished.  Life as you can see has crept up on me and my summer plans.  The portrait above has been waiting to be called finished for many months now,  and for a variety of reasons.  This guy was a wonderful character we came upon on a trip to the Jamestown Settlement a couple years ago and he played the part well as he stood in charge of the ships upper deck.  So I knew I needed to capture his relaxed but confident nature.

I had worked on Graphix - Duralar (Brand name) before, in a long forgotten workshop given by Robert Guthrie at a CPSA convention, several years ago.  But it was Suzanne Vigil, a portrait artist in northern VA who inspired my completion of this portrait.  The double frosted surface (frosted on both sides of this graphic film) created smooth skin tones so easily.  But and I repeat but, your layers are limited to about 4 on each side of the surface.  Like any new surface it takes a little getting used to.  Lifting color is as easy as a vinyl eraser, used gently as to not make a slick area on the surface.  It is acid free and archival so it meets my requirements of a surface suitable for creating lasting art.  Click here for a link to  the Dick Blick   page to see more about the surface.

Working on both sides of the acetate was a little confusing, as when working on the under side you are working the mirror opposite of your image.  And while that might not be confusing on a floral or still life, on a portrait I found it tricky. (To keep facial proportions correct for a likeness.)  Until I realized I could flip my photo in Photoshop and work on it in reverse.  Unfortunately, it took me a while and some cursing to figure this out!!!  Transferring onto the surface is easy because you can see your image thru the surface and should be done with a slightly lighter than a mid-grey pencil, graphite works also.  All in all I may try this again for CP portraits but it requires matting and framing behind glass, which I'm trying to get away from.  But skin tones are so smooth and hair and beard stubble is fun to create.  So who knows.

Photographing the image was a challenge as it is shiny after the layers of pencil are added.  Thank you to my son Chris and his great photography skills in helping me to finally get a good image.

I will tell you, that working on this surface prepared me for the next new one I will be featuring in my next post later in the week.  So tune in for my update............. along with my CPSA convention notes.

Hope your catching up to your summer plans...........


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