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I have finally completed my Boxer portrait. It took me longer than I would have liked but you can’t rush art. I find myself using more and more charcoal as I keep creating new pieces. It makes it easier to get the contrast I like in the shadows. The only problem is charcoal is very soft and it spreads far. A little bit goes a long way. With this piece, I went a little charcoal crazy and the entire Boxer came out nearly black. I had to go back with my eraser and add a bunch of the highlights in the fur.
The other challenge with the dark face was the eyes. In the reference photo I was using, the Boxer’s eyes were completely blacked out. I looked up other images on the internet. In nearly every picture, you could barely see any detail in the eyes. They are all very dark and the pupil appears to be huge, dulling the eye. Add the natural dark brown tint most of them have and the only thing left to see is the light reflection. The puppies seemed to have brighter, more colorful eyes. I tried to bring out the brown hues but it honestly looked odd if the eyes were too bright. So I slowly added more and more shading until I found a happy medium. I was able to make the brown, almost burnt sienna eyes pop out a little more but still keep the true naturally dark eyes that Boxers have.
With specializing in eyes, this piece was definitely a challenge. But with adding more tools to my belt, I’m able to continue working on bringing out the most detail. For this piece I used…
- charcoal pencils (obviously)
- graphite pencils
- colored pencils
- copic markers
- Artist’s pen
The artist pen I just got a few days ago. It is so fine tipped that I can get the microscopic lines and hairs to make the image crisp and more precise. It’s my new best friend. It also helps keeps my signature neat and clean on the portrait!
Overall, this is not one of my favorite pieces. Although I did learn quite a bit while creating it so I can’t be too displeased. It’s definitely not my worst piece either.
What do you think? Leave a comment and share below! Thanks for reading!
Until next time…
“It ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.”