I conducted an experiment where I put my portrait sketches through the app called Colorize, which is designed to turn black-and-white photos into colour. The aim was to see if the programme could recognise my sketches as people. Miraculously it did and above are the results. I was worried that the app would either mistake Tilney for a girl, or for a caucasian. It did neither and as a result, I made little to no changes in photoshop. Alex was given grey hair, bless him, so I coloured his hair brown in photoshop. I doubt he’d appreciate being mistaken for an older man. Being an absolute monarch does age you, however! I did not expect the app to pick up Adrian’s freckles, but it did. I’m in shock. As for her red hair, I cheated a bit and put her through the Faceapp first to ensure Colorize knew she was a redhead. Overall, I am pleasantly surprised I managed to [ . . . ]
Adrian is one of Alex’s distant cousins and a member of his circle of friends. She is also a friend of Tilney, although he’s secretly scared of her. She would argue that if he only stopped clicking his pen in class, she would have a little more patience left for lunch and wouldn’t feel the need to point out his areas of weakness. For Adrian’s freckles, I use a technique where I take my blending stump, rub the tip in graphite, and dab it all over her face. The effect gives the freckles an authentic randomness. No individual freckle is the same shape, size or colour and this technique is a fast way to create that effect. One of my personal nightmares is drawing a mouth that is slightly open. Teeth are difficult to shape. In my previous portraits, the teeth always appear as if they’re sticking outwards. I am thankful that I have finally pulled off sketching straight-ish teeth.
Alex is the protagonist in my series Friends of Foes. He shares the spotlight with Henry. He’s been bugging me to sketch a portrait of him since I first began sketching Henry. He still doesn’t understand why I didn’t sketch him first. After all, Alex is king – which ultimately puts him at the centre of the universe. I had a lot of fun sketching Alex. I tried to keep it traditional and let his eyes shine without any embellishments from me. He’s supposed to look intense, so I hope I pulled it off. 😂 My least favourite feature to draw is the mouth. Alex’s mouth is particularly tricky because it’s long and thin – plus he smiles on one-side. To tackle this challenge… well basically I winged it until it looked somewhat presentable. Shh! Another challenge I faced was that Alex’s head is positioned on an angle. This meant that I had to position his facial features accordingly. If [ . . . ]