Pensive Sam

Here is a new distraction to keep me from finishing the Dean portrait . Not really, I’m just tired of Dean’s face and needed a Sammy break. Actually Dean is almost done. I’m just working on adding a few more highlights to the million that are already on his jacket and then I’ll be ready to sign it. Then I can put it in the closet and not look at it in six months. Just kidding, what I actually want to do is finish it and make prints in time for the LA Supernatural con next month. That way I can get one autographed and give some away to people who would like a copy.

But back to Sam. I was thinking it would be nice to try something on plain old canson paper and so started looking through my Sam photos for something to spark my imagination. I found a great close up shot of his face, very dark and moody and thought it would be great to try it on a darker toned paper.  I lined up some other reference photos and came up with digital collage of body parts and faces that allowed me to create the sketch for this.


It’s coming out better than expected even though I broke one of my own rules by embarking on this project without having a good reference image for his face. The picture that captured my imagination is great, but unfortunately rather low res and missing some vital information like where exactly his right eye is situated and where the top of his head ends. But being forever optimistic I figured my own version could just reproduce those dark shadows and extrapolate (i.e., make a wild guess about) everything else.


I took another picture from my files that I liked for the body,…….


……… did some cutting and pasting in Photoshop, stretched and distorted things a bit and came up with my sketch.


You will quickly notice he does not have a right eye. My powers of extrapolation failed me. I was able to complete the head contour but every attempt to draw in an eye were pretty ghastly. I resolved to put in a big old dark shadow there.

The funny thing was when I started putting in the colors on the paper and working the shadows  I was able to get a much better feel for where the eye should be. I took my Sam reference and adjusted the levels down in Photoshop until I was at least able to discern some eye shaped blobs down deep in the bigger shadowy blob. This helped me feel my way to drawing in a more believable eye shape there. Who knows, if I am able to get the whole drawing as dark as I would like to, I may end up darkening the left eye out just like in the reference. But at least I now have the option to have a semi believable shadowy eye there in case I don’t.


The paper is an 18 x 12  brownish grey toned Canson paper. Since it is 12 inches wide I was able to print my sketch directly onto the paper with my large format Epson printer. I printed the line drawing in draft mode, and with the opacity down to 30% in Photoshop. It gave me a line I could clearly see but that won’t be too difficult to cover up with the colored pencils.


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