Everyone’s work process is different. I like reading other people’s ‘how to’ pieces and today I am going to share one of my methods of developing an image.
I always start with a sketch. I love working from life but sometimes a photograph is just as exciting. For this sketch I worked from a photo of an urn in the Italian garden at Hever Castle. I confess my fascination with Instagram photos to which I often respond with a quick sketchbook drawing. Here, I was particularly interested in perspective and I responded to the photograph as I recently discovered Hever Castle and fell in love with its beautiful grounds. In fact, I photographed this urn myself on a couple of occasions so I suspect the image was latent in my brain.
The next thing that fascinates me in a new image is its ability to morph into something new every time you change something about it digitally. I will therefore often photograph my work and post-process either in a phone app or in an Adobe package. Here I used PicsArt for a quick play. I wanted to add to the image while also holding on to the initial contour drawing in blue (I used a blue Frixion ball pen) – change without changing too much. Eventually I settled for this effect which defines the lights and shadows and therefore enhances the depth in the image.
Next, in response to this effect, I took out my ProMarker pens and mapped out the darker and lighter areas. I used three pens: Warm Grey 5, Warm Grey 2 and Satin. I confess that I’d rather have played with ink and brushes at this stage, but I was limited by time constraints so I opted instead for a similar but much quicker effect, albeit compromising on the freshness the image could have had had I gone for the ink.
Once again, I photographed my work and post-processed in PicsArt, electing a couple of filters: one explores colour as well as tone, the other looks more closely at tone.
For the final stage I would like to reproduce these effects in conventional wet media, using a lightbox to map out the basic contours of my already sketchy draft – a plan for another day. For now, I leave you with a comparison image that shows all the variations together.