Thursday, September 25, 2014

How I Create Family Portraits

Sometimes the Cordial Kitten Family Portrait process can seem rather daunting. If you've ever wondered how I get from photos to finished drawing, you've come to the right place. I'm going to post up-to-the-minute progress of a portrait I'm working on right now. Check back soon to see updates as I move along from start to finish!

First, the customer sends me photos of everyone who is to be included in the portrait. They don't all have to be in the same photo. It helps to have several different shots of each person, including close-ups and full body shots. It's also helpful to include specific accessories you'd like me to draw. For example, if you don't normally wear glasses, please don't send photos of yourself wearing them. This particular family sent me many more photos than you'll see below, but here are just a few to give you an idea:
photo-collage

This family has a very specific idea of what they want me to portray. Here are some of their details:
Location: Tuolumne meadows;
Camping breakfast;
Lupine and Indian Paintbrush flowers;
Coffee cups in hand;
Dog sniffing bacon;
Bigfoot in background, possibly waving.

They also included descriptions (and some photos) of specific clothing they'd like featured. This isn't necessary, but it's helpful. It gives me an extra tool to make the drawing look more like the people they are supposed to be. I do not consider myself a very strong caricature artist, and often the clothing, accessories, and hair styles help make my case.

Recently I've started making my sketches in separate pieces, and putting them together in photoshop. This gives me the ability to tweak the composition, or to easily redraw or resize specific elements in the drawing without completely starting over. Here, I started with all of these pieces:
sketch samples

Then put them all together to get this:
katie, sketch, web

Next I'll print off the sketch, and trace it onto my final paper to begin the watercolor process. Stay tuned for my next update!

Update! Adding color. I'll add more shots as I complete them!



All finished up! When I'm done, I sent a small .jpg image to the customer, which they are allowed to share unlimitedly online. Happy customers are my best advertisement! 

If you loved watching, and want to get started on your own portrait, feel free to contact me, or order today.