I’m currently undertaking a number of portrait commissions at the moment, mostly in oils but some in charcoal. Dominic was commissioned as a present for his 50th birthday in December 2011. I managed only one afternoon sitting with Dominic, however that was sufficient to capture a very good likeness of a man who ticks all the boxes of being tall, dark and handsome. After the sitting I was able to check all the aspects of his features for size, proportions and positioning from the reference photographs I took of him next to the drawing. I made a few minor changes and refined the marks I made during the sitting with my stump.
A stump is an artists tool, usually made of soft paper, (but can be made of leather or felt), that is tightly wound into a stick and sanded to a point at both ends. It is used to blend drawing marks made with charcoal, conte crayon, pencil and similar media. By moving it carefully over drawing marks, gradations and half tones can be produced. I like my charcoal drawings to look like drawings, rather than being too photographic, so I kept the use of the stump to a minimum.
I’m pleased to say that Dominic is delighted with his portrait and it is now framed and hanging proudly in their family room.