Now, it's all coming together. Still, a lot of work needs to be done to increase depth and build up tone, but, now, the picture feels as though it's going somewhere. I'm having to work to a schedule, now, because this portrait is due to be displayed in a local exhibition, next week. That means eight more days of work. It might be a bit of a squeeze but, with good planning, it should be finished on time.
The concrete was rendered using the side of the pencil to depict the rough texture of the surface. Pale grey, olive green, brown and terracotta were laid down to give the impression of a weathered and slightly mossy ground. The wooden bench, which is also weathered, was so grey in the photo that it looked rather like concrete itself. So, I will have to use artistic license to make it looker browner in colour. I want it to look unmistakably woodlike, despite its aged, grey appearance.
At this stage, I am building up depth and colour, in the more finished sections of the bench. The less finished area of the bench has only one layer of pale grey pigment, at the moment. I will continue to experiment with strokes and vary the pressure of the pencil to achieve the effect which best implies concrete and rough wood. Light, flowing lines of grey, followed by increasingly darker and more intense marks to show the woody imperfections, will gradually give a more realistic look to the bench.
After this, I will work on the second tree before moving to the background of grass, sky and leaves. I have moved the second tree to the left to improve the composition so I will have to compensate for the changes required to the features of the far background.
Oh, and I mustn't forget the unfinished hand, legs and snack pack on the bench. It is easy to forget about these unfinished details and, then, have to rush them, at the end, when a deadline is in place, so they need to be consciously included in the planning. I roughly know how long it will take to complete each section so I can calculate which stage I need to have completed, at the end of each day's work.