Completed image of Roosevelt

I take a ton of photos of my art while I’m working. Like, a ton. Enough so that when lined up together, you get a nifty idea of what the art process looks like!

The difference with this one is that I took notes: what I was thinking and planning at each step of the picture. It might be a small picture, clocking in around 5×7 inches, but this thing took about twenty hours.

Photo of Roosevelt step 1 of 14.

This is the beginning sketch, where I’m trying to figure out my composition. You’ll notice the picture looks pretty dim (not bright white). That is because I am using an old printing plate test sheet from a printmaking class. The background color is actually a very flat, light blue/gray. I’ve also put a piece of tape over my light source, which in my photo is burned white with how bright it is. Since it will be the lightest part of my picture, I want to keep that spot clean until the end-hence the tape.

Photo of Roosevelt step 2 of 14.

It’s best to pick a few easy lines to begin inking, just to get a feel for the pen.

Photo of Roosevelt step 3 of 14.

I’m focusing on the few man-made objects first.

Photo of Roosevelt step 4 of 14.

With some of the finer, sharper details delineated, I’ll now begin inking at the darkest, hardest to see part of the picture. From there I will build overlapping layers towards the foreground.

Photo of Roosevelt step 5 of 14.

Layering one side of the time, I’ll ink in the majority of the left side first. Since I’m right-handed, this will help reduce smearing as I move towards the right side.

Photo of Roosevelt step 6 of 14.

Around this part of the picture I had to stop inking the right side. There were a few objects that I hadn’t noticed when I was drawing, such as the car in the garage behind the fence. I should draw those in, but I’m feeling brave- I’m going to freehand it!

Photo of Roosevelt step 7 of 14.

The parts I freehand-ed didn’t come out too bad. This includes an extra car, the garage door opening, and some siding on the next door house. I’ve also begun inking in the street.

Photo of Roosevelt step 8 of 14.

Onwards and upwards! The sky was a major part of why I chose this picture. Maintaining a light hand is key until I get some better definition.

Photo of Roosevelt step 9 of 14.

The sky is inked in! Now to take off that piece of tape…

Photo of Roosevelt step 10 of 14.

The tape is gone! Now I’ll gradually fill in around the outline the tape left so that it looks more natural.

Photo of Roosevelt step 11 of 14.

This is looking pretty good! Honestly, I probably could have left it here. But I chose the blue/gray background for a reason.

Photo of Roosevelt step 12 of 14.

Using a white colored pencil, I am adding highlights. The sun’s glare is being brightened up.

Photo of Roosevelt step 13 of 14.

To make sure the overall tone of the picture works, I’ve added highlights throughout the picture. I’ve also re-inked a few areas that needed more depth and shading after I added the highlights. It’s all about balance.

Photo of Roosevelt step 14 of 14.

The last test is to see whether or not the tape came off clean. Looks like I got lucky this time- clean lines and no obvious tearing! It’ll look great in a frame.

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