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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Following through

After acknowledging the practical dilemmas of realising my three-layer mock-up, I decided to compromise and follow through on a couple of layers at a time.

Since I was eliminating the background as a feature of the work, I cropped the figure more closely to let the face dominate the image. I still had some practical issues to sort out. I wanted the photographic element to be printed at high quality on matte photo paper. My blue biro did not play nicely with that surface. Nor did many of the other blue pens I tried which were fine enough to give me the control I wanted. I ended up using an ultra fine point blue Sharpie marker. The ink was brighter and lighter than the pen I had previously used which in turn altered the impact of the linework. I also used more hatching/cross-hatching than simple line and I did not attempt to trace the entire image. Instead I highlighted the areas of shadow.

The result is almost mask-like. It also reminds me of some forms of dramatic or character makeup. The linework appears to sit forward from the face because although the ink is blue it is highly saturated and contrasts with the black and white base image.

For curiosity's sake I scanned the completed work, selected out the blue and deleted the rest. Here is the result. It would be interesting to try superimposing this back on another portrait or the same self-portrait cropped to a different scale.

I'm also interested in the details of the linework as marks in their own right, both here and in my previous trial:

As a simpler experiment, I asked myself what would happen if the linework were a different colour.

Meanwhile I still have the background layer of my WIL tutorial mock-up to consider and more techniques to test in my home studio.

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