August 11, 2016

Portrait of a little girl

Recently I started experimenting with a combination of airbrush and color pencils. I prefer the oil-based pencils because they're not affected by paints and lacquer. In addition their coverage is quite good and they leave light-fast colors. The Surface of this particular portrait was Canson's linen textured paper, which is not the ideal surface for color pencils when attempting to create realistic art, since the bumps and dents of the surface results in grainy lines and coloured surfaces. When the pencil tips are sharp this problem is reduced.

I tried the whites of Faber-Castell Polychromos and Caran d'Ache Pablo (which are oil-based), but the graphite Derwent GraphiTint gave the best result and is probably the cheapest of the three as well. The Derwent has the same feel as the oil pencils, perhaps even a little bit more oily - smooth movement over the surface - and its coverage was absolutely great. I haven't tested smooth surfaces yet, but will do so in the near future. My guess is that the Faber-Castell and Caran d'Ache will do better on such surfaces, but I have to experience that to be sure.

The reference photo does not show the top of the girl's head, so I created some more hair there to be able to position her face better on the surface. The photo also lacked detail, but fortunately child's faces have less accents than that of older people. Airbrushing those requires good concentration, because subtle accents are easily messed up. The girl's hair was a different story, half messy (which is what it should be with children) and also difficult to interpret due to the lack of fine detail. This where the Derwent pencil saved me a lot of time.

I started using the Iwata HP-BH and it behaved badly. Checking the needle tip under a looking glass showed a slight kink in the tip. I straightened and polished it after which it performed well again. For the hair, I used the Iwata Custon SB after first polishing its needle. Since I always spray freehand, this top of the bill airbrush was necessary (saves time). The Inspire H2O paints in combination with the Createx 4012 Reducer currently are the best paints /reducer available to spray fine detail. It took me four days to spray - doing all sorts of other chores in between airbrushing.

Oldest stages at the bottom, newest on top as usual.

Virtually framed (using Rhinoceros 3D)