Interview with: Kelly Renee (Rags)
1)What is your occupation and tell us a bit about your art background.
I’ve been drawing since I was very little, from people to insects and even creatures created from my own imagination. I was always creative and full of detail, and eventually I took an art class at age 12. Around my second year, I was considered to be too advanced to be in a teaching class, and was often asked why I was there, even though I stayed for another two years. As of now, I am seventeen and am still a professional artist and am planning to learn photography soon.
2)Why did you choose this particular picture to re-create?
Actually a friend of mine wanted a colored portrait of Galadriel; I had never done a portrait in full color before – except one that was of leaves – but I figured it was time I’d start getting the experience.
3)Tell us exactly what mediums, colours, paper and materials you used for this piece.
My medium was pencil. Most of Galadriel’s face was made by a deco peach, light peach, warm gray 10%, and as a layer, white for a faded finish. For the parts involving hair, the colors varied from yellow to vermilion. I have forgotten what it is called, but I normally just call it “sticky stuff” – as that is what it is (it lifts out only colored mistakes and is yellow), and the paper is used for watercolor, actually.
4) Why did you choose this specific colour combination?/Why did you choose these colours which are different from the original photo?
As much as you try to stay loyal to a photo you are drawing from, there’s always a strong possibility that your drawing could end up opposite of your expectations. I wanted to find the same color and shade that was in the photo; except the photo was faded and I wanted mine to be crisp. Most of the time I stuck to my light peach and warm gray 10% and 30% in case of a mistake. Either way, I knew it was usually wise to start light and slowly work your way down to a darker color.
5) Describe how you executed this artwork and how long you took to complete it.
I started by transferring the photo by holding it up to a window (where there was light) and tracing every outline I could find on to the paper with a HB pencil. As I moved on to begin coloring, I would erase the marks made by the HB pencil. The chin was first, going down to up but not completing the eyes till the hair was finished. All in all, this took me 10 hours.
6) What makes a portrait lifelike? And how do you capture the likeness in a person’s features?
Of course, the face must be in near-perfect order and alignment, but to me, I’ve always believed that the eyes and hair were the most important. If a face, however, is small as an egg in the photo, you should be warned that your resulting drawing will have a 60% chance of looking different than the face in the photo. This is something I am still learning to accomplish with 100% good results.
7) What do you feel is important in order to display your individuality in your drawings, and how do you create expression and character in the face?
I’m not really sure about this question. Usually I just see what I see clearly and draw from whatever is there. If it isn’t, then it doesn’t exist. (I find that with working in black and white, there is a higher chance of the portrait appearing lifelike. Colored pencils are grainy.)
8) Is this method of drawing expressive?
Not really. I don’t aim to give people a feeling of anger, sadness, or happiness when they look at my art. I just aim to awe them and inspire.
9) Do you need a ‘creative fit’ in order to produce satisfying results with your artwork?
I’d take an hour only when I’d be working on a piece. Otherwise my mind starts to wander and I forget to push myself [for a high result]. Sometimes I’ll only work if I feel the urge to.
10) What tips do you have for aspiring artists?
If you think you are pretty good, take an art class – I did, even though I never needed to – and you’ll learn some basic stuff quicker than you would if you hadn’t taken a class. Don’t be afraid of criticism, especially if given to you by a professional artist.
And be original.