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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pencil Portrait Step 1: Background

Last night, I began the preparatory work for my next dog commission. This included creating a mock  image using Photoshop, printing out a life size b/w copy and selecting the paper (in this case, I chose Fabriano Artistico paper). Since my subject is mainly white, I decided to start with the darker background and then apply a workable fixative to prevent smudging on the white areas. Before spraying, I masked the dog using the paper cutout from my b/w copy to avoid getting the fixative on the virgin areas. Through experience, I have found that fixative will change the attribute of the paper, hence  affecting the appearance of additional layers of graphite.

The paper cutout was also useful for masking when I worked the background.


  1. We can't buy 'workable' fixative in the UK it seems .... (unless anybody out there knows better)

    Look forward to seeing this progress Colette :-)

  2. Sue, it might be just as well...the stuff is terribly toxic to use. I only use it outdoors and hold my breath while in the vincinity of the spray fumes.

  3. This one is going to be awesome! I see it already, Colette. As far as the eagle, its best to put it aside since you have this commission then take it out with "fresh" eyes and finish it...its going to be beautiful.!

  4. I needed to hear that Hilda...that eagle was driving me crazy!