Josh’s portrait began in the fall of 2011…shortly after his passing…and by Christmas of that year I got as far as what you see in the first image of this slideshow…in time to share it with his family.
I had a collection of photographs documenting the progress I’d made up to that point, but sadly, those were lost.
Following that, life got a little complicated…so—as I stated in last week’s post—the portrait got put on hold…but when I finally got back to it this last fall I made sure to keep good records of my process.
This slideshow includes key stages of development, to help build a picture of the layers of work involved.
Now, I’m not used to working with color pencils–graphite and ink are my usual thing…so this went slowly. From picking the project back up to completion of the artwork, I spent about 30 hours. I’m going to estimate that I spent at least half that much time in the first round of work, meaning it took about 45 hours of artistic labor just to complete the image.
There were various other logistical time investments; at no point was I working under ideal studio conditions, and therefore had to cobble together a proper work environment. I won’t bore you with those details…
…though factoring that in, as well as tracking down and assembling the frame and matting, I easily spent another 5 hours or so. In the end, I feel comfortable saying that this project took me at least 50 hours of skilled labor.
With that in mind, I still could have used more time. The deer, for example, could have been vastly improved, but the fact that it wound up rather muted worked well to put the focus on Josh…
…who I also would have spent more time on…but, in the end, his spirit comes through, and that’s what this was all about to begin with.
I spent the first 12hrs mainly on the deer head, and some of Josh’s sweatshirt.
After that, about 5hrs between his pants and adding the second antler.
Next I moved to Josh’s left hand, which took about 4hrs.
Lastly, I finished up his right hand, and then moved on to focus on his face, which took another 7-8 hrs.