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Tudor Portraits

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

New Work: Tudor Portraits - Christopher Marlowe

Back at my desk this week, and decided to conquer a few more Tudor portraits that have been on my mind for some time.

First, Christopher Marlowe:
He's a fascinating figure, and the kind folks at The Rose Theatre here in London revitalised my interest in him.
For the Tudor portrait series, I've been using contemporary portraits (such as this one of 1585 of Marlowe.)
To start with: I create a pencil sketch of the face and neck/costume, 
then I print out a copy of the pencil line work lightly as a framework for the inking. 

For pencils, I'm partial to the Papermate Sharpwriter for its consistent point, ability to be gentle/light and heavy/dark, and for their cheap n' cheerful price. The inking is done with a mix of smaller pens (.5 from Muji, or a Staedler .1 pen liner in this case.)  The Muji pens aren't quite as amazing as the Pilot G Tec C4 of legend, but they definitely hold their own.
When inking, I find the outlines, followed with a scribbley crosshatch stroke to fill in areas, along with more free contour lines.  Then, I either wet and smear the ink with my thumb/forefinger, or with a paint brush, as grey background wash.  The paintbrush gives a more precise stroke, but the thumb gives you a stronger smear without over-wetting the paper.

It's a method I really enjoy, especially the mad cross-hatching I use during the inking.
Next up: Queen Elizabeth I, as inspired by the Armada Portrait.

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