In a previous post I showed you a drawing of Sir Chris Hoy which I was hoping to develop into, what is for me, a different style of portrait illustration. I have now completed that little project so let me take you through it.
Above you can see my grey acrylic under-painting. Why grey? Well I've been struggling to create an even overall skin tone in watercolour so I decided that I should try an acrylic wash underneath to unify all the transparent colours glazed on top.
Watercolour is notoriously difficult when it comes to skin because it's too transparent, oils work well because they offer an opaque sheen. Above you can see the results of glazing with watercolour just before I moved into photoshop to tweak everything and add background detail.
Above is the final image, you can see I have adjusted the levels on Chris and added a London 2012 Olympic gold medal. I have also contended with the slight speckle in the background colour by reducing it's contrast. Hopefully all of these changes reinforce my overall value concept of middle tone/lightest/darkest. Below you can see a progression.
In conclusion (sorry if this sounds like an essay) I very happy with the results, especially in the subtle skin tones. Without a doubt I shall be using this technique more often. I also have a mind to add gouache in the hope of becoming more realistic. Some aspects that I was disappointed were the accuracy of the portrait and the slight speckle still prevalent in my watercolours. The speckle could be solved by changing paper or concentrating more on acrylics, as for the drawing its just more practice I need.