3b. the original. I think the main features of the face turned out to be the strongest part of this replica as the lines are crisp and strong.
3. Starting to apply the ink I first inked the main parts of the face. I do this because then if I make a major mistake in my line work on an important feature it would be easier to start again rather than leaving the important details until last, when it would be much more frustrating if it was needed to start over. I made the choice to use the ink straight out the bottle, without diluting it with water for the line work so that it would be the darkest it could be, making it stand out like…
1b. original as it could be. I used the watercolour paper as I knew I would have to dilute the ink when working into the background, so I wanted it to be able to hold up. Overall i was quite happy with how the final sketch looked before adding ink, I feel the extra while I put into making sure everything was in its place payed off in an accurate sketch.
1. I scaled down the size of the original piece for my replica, going from 18.40 x 14.60 cm to only 18 x 14 to keep measuring out the paper simple. Starting on 300gsm water colour paper I lightly sketched in the entire image using a H pencil, making sure to get the proportions and positioning of everything correct as if the base sketch wasn't right the whole replica would be thrown off. I spent a couple of hours playing about with this sketch until I was satisfied that it was as close to…
9b. I found a way to make this look less noticeable by taking a cotton swab and dabbing on where the still wet, darker ink met the dry background.
9. Once the majority of the pieces background was completed with the cotton swab I went back in with the brush pen to do the finer and more tricky parts of the piece, such as in between strands of hair. When doing this I realised that the ink coming off of the brush pen was slightly darker than the ink on the background, even though I had rinsed it before beginning.
8b. When I had began applying my 50/50 wash of water and ink I realised that it was actually quite a lot darker than when on the test sheet. I went with it however, looking back, if I were to do this again I would test out my final mix on a scrap of paper before beginning on the actual piece.
8. Using what I learned from the test samples I started working into the background. Deciding to stay away from the smaller, more finicky areas when using the cotton swab I thought to revisit them later using the brush pen.
7c. In this test I was trying to figure out how long a fully loaded cotton swab would last when applying the ink. I found that after around seven strokes the cotton would start to fray and fluff up, leaving behind bits of the cotton on the paper. This test was good for me as it let me see exactly how long I could wait before I needed to switch to a new cotton swab.
7b. Upon deciding on using a cotton swab as the tool for the background I played around with a few test sheets of the same watercolour paper I was using. On this test I was looking into how the layering of the ink/water wash would look and how dark the overlayed strokes would be. I think this was a beneficial test as it allowed me to know exactly what would happen when I went over the first wash of ink.
7. Before moving onto the background conducted a few tests to see how the ink would interact with the paper when applied in different ways. I decided using a 50/50 wash of ink and water was the best to achieve the textures and strokes in the background and that using a cotton swab to apply would be the best idea when looking at the strokes in the originals background as they are flat and wide, which is easily achievable with a cotton swab.
6. Once all of the basic hair shapes were complete I went in and added all of the hair lines, trusting my previous sketch underneath while still referencing the original piece to get them in the right place. Copying the hairlines made was difficult as they were done quickly by Gray, however, overall I feel it was mostly a success, however I can see some which are out of place or that don't match up to the original piece.
5. Once the beard was complete I moved back onto doing the hair, outlining the basic shapes I could see in the original and in my sketch below to build up the look of the hair. Doing this was a good idea for me as it allowed me to build up the entire shape of the head without having all the hair lines in the way before I was sure they were all placed in their proper places.
4. Moving onto doing the hair I started outlining the basic shapes of the hair before deciding to focus on the beard while other parts were drying as it was the most out the way and I have a history of dragging my hand through wet ink, smudging it everywhere. To combat this I had a few different parts of the replica going at once so I could move about while waiting for parts to dry. I would use this technique again as it was very successful in stopping me from dragging ink over my work.
2. Before I started the inking process I played around with my chosen tool to see the variation in line weight I could get and how much pressure to use to get it.I decided to use a brush pen for the line work so I would have maximum control as I am familiar with the tool and to be able to achieve varying line weights which I believe worked successfully. The watercolour brush pen has more rubbery bristles which I prefer over others as it is much smoother when applying watery mediums.