Starting a Dean Portrait

I’ve been doing sketches of Dean, but somehow he seems harder to draw. I’m not sure why because if anything, his looks are more classically proportioned than Sam’s. Maybe it’s the combination of those big round eyes and square jaw, but somehow my sketches of him always end up looking kind of goofy. What I finally did was find a really good reference picture, one of those where you can see the pores on their skin and follow it exactly.

This is what has come of that so far.

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I’m sure people will recognize which publicity still I’m using for my reference. It’s from the scarecrow episode so Dean’s face actually shows bruises on his left eye. I will leave out the bruises as well as the scarecrow lurking around in the background.

I have just started applying the colored pencils. The paper is a 13 x 20 inch piece of sand toned Colourfix paper. I took a shortcut and scanned my original sketch, sized it and then printed it to the paper with my large format Epson printer. I dialed down the opacity of the image to 40% in Photoshop and set the print job to draft mode. It sure made transferring the drawing to my paper a breeze.

Here is a close up of the small bit I’ve done so far.

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There’s a lot of work to be done here still. I need to put eyelashes on his other eye and add many more layers of color. I think with this paper tone it will be much easier to get a natural skin tone compared to the grey Ampersand board I used with the Sam drawing.

One thing to mention is that because I did print the sketch onto the paper the reference lines are harder to cover up than if I had used a more traditional method of transferring the sketch. Next time I will try bringing the opacity down even more when printing.

I have to confess that I was going to experiment with the Faber_Castell Polychromo colored pencils on this piece. They are oil based colored pencil as opposed to the wax-based Prismacolors. Unfortunately I quickly discovered that the color was much less opaque and it was almost impossible to cover my reference lines. Too bad, because they blended even more beautifully than the Prismacolors and had a wonderful soft sheen to them. I am definitely going to try them again for another project.

This is what the Polychromo start on this piece looked like.

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Fortunately this paper is so resilient I was able to use a stiff brush to remove most of the color and then finished cleaning it up with my electric eraser. I was then able to make a new start with the Prismacolors.

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