Raheem Nelson

Featured Illustration: Unique Jones

With every portrait I try to push myself harder to improve my craft and take risks. Usually in Procreate I paint with a tool called the Flat Brush. Something about this particular portrait inspired me to try an imported tool called the Dry Brush. It gives an oil on canvas feel that I usually get from my ArtRage work. The subject (Unique) is a teenage student so I knew that I had to convey that youthfulness in the portrait. Teenagers can be tricky to render because they’re young adults. Keeping that in mind I illustrated things like dimples (because that’s part of her smile and without it that’s not her.) but I smoothed that out more than usual to compensate. I’m including my process step by step below for the portrait. Art created in Procreate for iPad.

Blue Line sketch. This was an old Cartoonist trick for sketching because blue didn’t show up in reproductions.

2B Pencil sketch with color mapping. This helps me decide all of the light and shadow.

Blocking in the paint. All the brush strokes are visible.

Here’s the portrait with blended skin tones.

Here’s the first background I went with. This was based on the photo reference.

Here’s the alternate version with her name scrawled on the background. It’s meant to be worn and old to contrast her youth. I got the idea from artist, David Kassan’s painting, The Baron.

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