Project Diary: Ink Portraits
Ink portraiture series
In our drawing course we were tasked with creating three ink drawings that demonstrated three shading techniques: stippling, cross hatching, and scribbling. I was particularly excited for this assignment because ink pens are by far my favourite traditional media to work with. I love drawing faces with ink so I decided that for my project that I would do a series of three portraits. I chose three celebrities whose work I really admire (Harry Styles, Timothée Chalamet, and Rihanna) to draw for the series.
I started by creating a rough pencil sketch and focused on getting the proportions of the face as accurate as possible. This is always the most challenging part for me, as it's very important to get the facial features right in order to make the subject identifiable. I also began to map out where I would like to add the shading so I could get a rough idea of how the final product would look.
Rough sketch of Timothée Chalamet
Next I took my sketches and scanned them onto my computer. I took the images into Photoshop and increased the contrast so that the lines would be more visible. I also made any necessary tweaks to the proportions and resized the images so that they would all be the same size. I then printed these off to trace over.
Rough sketches of Rihanna and Harry Styles, altered in Photoshop and printed
For the final copies, I traced my images onto Mayfair paper using the lightest pencil possible. I mapped out all of the lines as well as the areas I wanted to shade in. Then I got to work on inking everything. For this I used fineliner micron pens in order to get the level of detail I wanted. This was the longest part of the entire process, since ink requires a lot of patience and a steady hand. I was able to apply the required shading techniques to different parts of the faces. I found that cross hatching worked well for strong shadows and sharp cheekbones, stippling was useful for soft contours and more gradual shading, and scribbling added a lot of texture and life to the hair. Once I had all of the ink in place I erased my remaining pencil marks and the work was complete! I'm so pleased with how these turned out and I enjoyed revisiting my love of ink drawing.
Here are the scanned images of the final portraits:
Timothée Chalamet Portrait
Harry Styles Portrait