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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Nadia portrait in progress 16

Here’s how I did the crushed velvet that is draped on the podium. The last thing to do in this portrait.


Jerky, scribbley pencil strokes with 4 colors of pencil - 3 light and one dark - make the crushed-velvet texture.

Close-up of podium in portrait of Top Twenty Doberman, in progress

The contrast of light and dark on the podium is too much. It takes attention away from the figures. I did that on purpose though, knowing that the next step would tone down the contrast and pull the texture together into some rich, opulent-looking purple velvet.


Yep, just the effect I wanted. I went over the whole rectangle with a wash of reddish-purple watercolor. I mixed it slightly redder than the purple of the Top 20 ribbon. I don’t want them to be exactly the same shade of purple. I want the purple and gold Top 20 ribbon to stand out. I don’t want the podium, a dark rectangle at the very bottom of the composition, to jump out and grab attention. This is exactly the look I planned. It gives a solid “base” for stacked-Nadia, the central figure. Now she is anchored in the scene, not floating on all that grey, like the other two Nadias are.

Close-up of podium with watercolor wash, in portrait of Top Twenty Doberman, in progress

But the watercolor covered up the lettering of Nadia’s name too much. I’ll have to go over the letters again with beige pencil to make it stand out.

That’s the final thing that needs to be done with this portrait. I will let the watercolor dry overnight before I go over it pressing down hard with pencil.

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