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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Louie portrait in progress 11

Coming into the home stretch on Louie’s portrait. I’m working on the wooden lattice behind Louie.

In this photo is a tool you don’t usually see in my art-studio shots: a drafting triangle. When I first started out as a professional artist at age 18 I was employed as a trainee at a Graphic Design/Advertising house. I learned to use drafting tools like a straight-edge, triangles, and Rapidograph pens to make perfectly straight, parallel, and perpendicular lines. That was long before the days of personal computers and digital design, when all layouts and paste-up had to be done by hand. I still have the tools I bought back then. Those tools and skills still come in handy to help me with straight lines and parallel lines, like the lattice of Dean’s deck behind Louie in this portrait.

Colored pencil portrait of a black Doberman in progress with tools in Kevin's art studio

I’m doing the lattice with a limited number of brown and beige pencil colors. I’m putting the pencil strokes onto the paper lightly because I want that golden-brown color of the Canson paper to be the main color of the background, and I don’t want any of the busy squares of this background to be as dense or dark as Louie or brighter than the highlights in his face.

The lattice pattern will fade out toward the top and sides of the artwork, so I’m having to use the pencil with the lightest touch I possibly can as I get farther out from Louie’s face. You can get a sense of that fade-out near the top of the artwork in the previous picture. I’m b-a-a-a-arely touching the paper with “Light Umber” brown pencil to do that horizontal plank across the top.

Detail of a colored pencil portrait of a black Doberman in progress

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