I recently experimented with a wonderful hybrid drawing technique that merged photography and hand drawing. The process was simple and the resulting composite drawings were very exciting. I began with a photograph that was printed on matte finish coated bond paper, then “enhanced” with color markers and colored pencils. This series of three images was printed on large format paper and framed for presentation. My process is explained in detail below.
Digital Photograph of a Dancer. I found a wonderful image of a ballet teacher and student taken with one of the earliest digital cameras. The extremely low resolution of the photograph inspired me to see what I could do to make it more interesting by adding to the scene with markers and colored pencils.
Inkjet Print and Hand Coloring. I printed the photograph on 13”x19” Epson matte finish coated paper. The rough surface of the paper accepted colored pencil like chalk on a chalk board. I colored the dance studio walls with Chartpak AD markers and proceeded to add texture, hatching and additional linework with several Prismacolor pencils. I used a very loose “hatching” technique with the pencil to reinforce an informal character and to reduce the photographic dominance of the scene.
Pencil Frame and Highlights. I used each of the different colored pencils to trace around the outside edge of the photograph to disguise the image and give it a more artistic frame.I completed the hand drawn work with a bright yellow pencil to highlight the shoulders and ballet bar. White pencil was extensively used for reflections on the floor, back wall and ballet tights.
Reformatting the Photograph. This pair of outdoor photographs was cropped square to break away from the typical 4”x6” proportion that most photos have. I enlarged each image to approximately 9”x9” and printed them on the same 13”x19” Epson paper as the ballet photograph.
Young Rock Climber. The beautiful textures and colors of the stone in this photograph allowed me to exaggerate the rock faces with deep blue, red and orange colored markers and pencils. I accented the rock cracks and overhangs with colored pencil linework, using both white and black pencils.
Future Contractor. This dramatic photograph of a tree fort under construction had a nice combination of yellow and orange colors in the foreground contrasted against the gray and green colors in the background. I enhanced most of the image with colored pencils except the face which was left untouched.
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