I use heavyweight, smooth cartridge paper (Daler & Rowley) with either graphite pencil (Staedtler HB) or Indian Ink with coloured pencils (Fiber Castell). The core foundation of my work is to achieve a sense of realism without losing the artistic touch. I am very happy to include hands in the children portraits as, particularly with children, the hand can be very expressive. I draw from colour photos, usually digital, by subtly changing the colours into shades of pencil grey by eye. I focus on the contrast in the areas of most light and dark aiming to give the portrait a 3D “feel”. I use heavyweight paper which allows me to press hard without damage and its smoothness also allows an effective “light touch”. This is important in achieving the crisp detail in the portrait.
I have developed a signature style using Indian Ink & colour pencil. I use a quill to apply the Indian Ink to the paper. This method of using the quill allows me to be more considerate of the lines that accentuate the boundaries and define shapes. I use the coloured pencils to bring out the character of the subject by paying close attention to subtle differences in shade and colour. I build these up as the portrait progresses using layers. This all creates an interesting play on a sense of realism and illustration.