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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Reeve portrait in progress 6 - Final steps

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Final steps....

Tape it up on the wall of my studio and stand back to see if anything needs to be adjusted.

When I’m working on it, I’m very close to the artwork. This gives me a chance to see the artwork as a whole, the way the client will see it on their wall. If anything jumps out at me, I take it back to my work table and fix that. Tape it up on the wall, stand back, make adjustments, tape it up again… Until I’m completely satisfied that it’s a finished work of art I will be proud to show to my client.

Colored pencil head-study portrait of a red Border Collie, in progress

It’s held up by drafting tape, a special kind of tape that doesn’t damage paper when it’s pulled off.


The last thing I do to artwork is sign it. I used to be very superstitious about my signature.

I had a superstition that it would be bad luck to do anything else to the artwork after I signed it. (Every artist knows how easy it is to overwork a painting and ruin it.) Since I wouldn’t touch an artwork again after my signature was on it, I made sure every last little touchup was finished before I signed.

Sometimes it’s not convenient to do that. If my signature has to show up against a busy, complicated background, it makes more sense to work it into the artwork as I go. So now I don’t worry about whether or not my signature is the Very Last thing.

Colored pencil head-study portrait of a red Border Collie being signed in the art studio  with pencil


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