Tag Archives: portrait

Bird and Bear Portrait Project, Copics

Bird and Bear
9″ x 12″, Copic markers on 150 lb smooth drawing paper

This is the final version of a commissioned portrait for a quirky bird girl and burly bear guy, getting married in about three weeks. The project took closer to three months. Most of that time was filled with mild panic and her unhelpful cousin, procrastination. Hooray!

I don’t do portraits, neither people nor pets. But I often do beasts, and often in clothes. So I figured I would give it a shot, with my friend’s promise he would not take it if he did not want it.

Three items were produced for this project. A pencil sketch, which I chose not to ink over – sort of a contingency plan in case the inking never worked out quite right:

Final sketch, Bird and Bear

I was worried about two things. One, that all the erasing would affect the marker coverage, and two, that I wouldn’t be able to reproduce the image as well again if I mucked it up.

So, I bought my first lightbox (with a 40% off one item coupon at my local Dick Blick’s) and used that to ink a clean sheet. Actually, I should back up a moment. I also used the lightbox to reduce the size of the image, by scanning it, shrinking it by a couple inches, printing it, then re-creating the pencil sketch, but smaller and with better detail. THEN I got another clean sheet and started inking.

The first inked version got off to a bad start when I made his pupils too big. Then I overworked the thing to death trying to adjust the colors.

Bird and Bear, first color version

Still, I could have stopped here, finished it in a bit more, and called it a day. But his hair is too dark and his snout far too short. And her feather too long. So I inked a whole new one and started over. And it not only went far more quickly than the first, it came out much better. (I think.) Yay!

Lots of progress pics, including some early bird and bear sketches. Thanks for visiting!

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