The portraits are typically drawn on Cotman watercolour paper. This paper has a distinctive texture which gives the characteristic look to the shaded areas whilst still producing a very clean white for skin tones and highlights.I use 2B and 3B Derwent pencils. The prints available for sale are printed using an Epson inkjet printer onto this same Cotman watercolour paper (prints can be made onto other paper if you request, and photograph prints are made onto gallery grade Epson photographic paper). This gives lightfast, 20-year archival quality prints, although it is probably best not to display the prints in direct sunlight.
Recently I have also done some colour portraits, using Rowney pastels, Bruynzeel pastel-pencils and Caran D'Ache aquarelle watercolour pencils on textured paper (such as Ingres paper). Again the texture of the paper is vital to the look and feel of the finished picture.
All the pictures begin life as a series of reference photos. I will select one photograph as the "core" of the portrait, a photo that has a certain something that catches my eye. I will then slightly modify some details of the photograph based on the other references, trying to capture the essence of the model's face without necessarily being photographic.
I take the photographs with a Canon digital SLR and a 105mm Sigma portrait lens or a 50mm Canon prime lens. I light the set with three or four flash heads and umbrellas or softboxes to provide directional but diffuse light. The slides are either scanned using a Minolta slide scanner or scanned onto CD by the processing lab. They are then colour-corrected in Corel Photo-Paint and minor edits made to remove dust etc..
The finished portraits are scanned back in using a flatbed scanner and tidied up slightly in Photo-paint before being reduced to web-friendly size and uploaded to the website.
ll have to negotiate.
Comments or suggestions to Hywel Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org)