Featured Illustration: Jeff Chery

Welcome to my blog! In this post I will be breaking down my process behind my latest portrait.

I can’t believe I’m done with this portrait painting. After posting all of the progress online I can finally share the finished piece. I decided to continue capturing portraits of people I know after painting my friend, Caitlin. Jeff Chery is an illustrator, and photographer I met while painting in Dumbo, Brooklyn. (He’s the photographer responsible for some of the photos of me painting on location.) During an iPad painting trip in Brooklyn Bridge Park we shot some pictures using his Canon. One of the pictures I took of him became the inspiration for this painting. Part of the reason I started painting family and friends is to capture someone I know and retain the rights to the photo reference.

I definitely pushed myself past my limits with this painting by experimenting with the program. (Procreate) From the sketch, blocking in and final rendering my process was tweaked to finish this successfully. For example I used different tools for everything. I usually paint with the Flat Brush but I switched to Round Brush for a softer look on the skin. For blending I switched to an imported brush called Wet Oil. This made the paint more chaotic and randomized. As always I looked at my photo reference closely to capture the anatomy and likeness. The figure was the most difficult because of the detail. I spent about two months working on just the figure alone.
That said the background took a lot of thought too.

I wanted the bricks to have depth and appear weathered. I used the shader brush, and textured paint to bring the bricks to life. To create the weathered effect I simply erased sections of the bricks with the Fury Ink brush. These tools can be found in the Pocket section. (which refers to the mobile version.) Anyway I could go on and on about my process but it’s time to wrap up. I’d like to thank Jeff Chery for letting me paint him and Savage for updating their app to put a stop to all the crashing.

Copyright © 2018, Raheem Nelson. All rights reserved.
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