This week’s guest tutorial is by Brandi York. From February 2003 to July 2004, Brandi was a portrait and caricature artist for Rubio Arts at Disneyland. In October of 2004 she began working for Trader Joe’s in Irvine, CA doing chalk boards for store displays, oil and acrylic paintings and any other odds and ends thrown her way. In 2006 she and her husband moved to Oregon, where she continues working for Trader Joe’s while expanding her art career. Her art has been seen at conventions around the country as well as local art shows.
For this tutorial, I’m going to focus on achieving the lights and shadows on the face. I like to keep a black and white print out of the photo I’m doing along with the full color version. I find this helps to push the values as well as the color.
All of the markers used are Copic Sketch, brush tip side.
Starting with a R000, I lay in the general tones of the skin, followed by E00 to beef up the shadows a little:
Using an E02, I deepen up the shadows a bit more before breaking out the BV31, adding into the shadows of the face. I go back over the BV31 with the R000 and E00 to warm the shadows back up a bit. Using the side of the brush tip, I pull the BV31 across the cheek, letting the shadow naturally fade out, instead of it having a hard edge:
Pulling out the E34 and E35, I start to hit the really deep reddish-brown shadows of the skin. I use the R000 to smooth out the colors, creating a softer transition, instead of the 0 Colorless Blender, which often lightens the area you’re blending (although that can often be useful, it’s not the look I’m going for here.) Next, I use the BV23 and BV25 to deepen the shadows of the neck, lips, eyes and nose, again feathering them out with the lighter colors I’ve been using:
I finish out the eyes with a stroke of BV25 and E29 around the lashes and a dot for the pupils, then E29 for the darker portion of the eyes. I use the 0 Colorless Blender and just hold it down for a moment where the lightest part of the iris (not the highlight itself) is to get the two colors to blend, giving the look of the light reflected in the iris.
Using R59 for the deepest part of the lips and R46 for the lighter, I finish out the lips, touching the highlight with R20, then the 0 Colorless Blender. I use a little YR82 and E31 to yellow down the skin a little, taking out some of the red: