Mirror portraits

I was a bit shell shocked after InkTober but I wanted a project to wrap up what I had learned during InkTober. Thanks to some great photos on Sktchy I came up with this idea about a series of mirrored portraits in blue and orange to see how far I could push it.

The orange colour was a bit tricky. I tried several inks but could not find any orange that could go dark enough to match the tones of Schmincke’s turquoise blue Aero Color. In the galley at the bottom is an example where I was trying out one of Goldens fluid acrylics (transparent Pyrrole Orange). Although the result wasn’t too bad, getting there was an absolut nightmare – these fluid acrylics does not behave like acrylic inks.

By the end I gave up just using a single colour and ended up using mixtures of two Aero Colors, Cadmium Orange hue and Burnt Sienna. You can see my mixing chart and the progression of my test drawing below.

I am really happy with the result of the finished drawings, going from never drawing faces to this in a year has been a fantastic journey. I love working with the brush and ink washes.

One thing I have not enjoyed since I started on the ink washes, is how I ended up doing the underdrawings. I have used a grid and spend an idiotic amount of time finetuning it until I got I right. I feels more like copying then drawing – actually it is copying. I need to find a looser/faster and more interesting way of doing this. I will probably still do underdrawing this way form time to time, but only when the likeness have to be absolutely spot on like say a family portrait.

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