Oil Paints & Mediums
Not only canvas makes a perfect portrait, but also the paints used by each brush stroke. The Oil Colors I use for my portraits are the Winsor & Newton Artists, paints with a good reputation among professional artists for being unmatched for its reliability and quality.
Along with the paint, I'm also using the Winsor & Newton drying Linseed Oil and Turpentine. The high quality oil paint mixed with linseed oil and turpentine makes it easy for the brush to flow over the canvas.
It is significant to use right kind of brushes. Over the years I probably tested most brushes on the market, and still I have many different brands in my collection. The brushes I tend to use most, are the Da Vinci Nova. They hold lots of paint and are perfect for painting details with help of their long handles and long brushes.
Every artist know the joy of painting on a prefect canvas. There are tons of canvas surfaces out on the market today and the only way to know which ones are most suitable and in best quality, is to try them out.
Surely we all know there are many options on canvas surfaces out there, both cotton and linen canvases and even cheap canvas boards. Canvas boards has never been an option for me, so I started with trying out different stretched canvases right away.
None of my portraits has ever been painted on a canvas board! I used to stretch the canvases myself, but that was a time-consuming and hard task for me, especially when I wanted a gallery-wrapped canvas. Now, even though its more expensive, I let a professional company create bespoke canvases for me. As a professional artist I require the best quality custom hand-crafted canvases out there!
Your portrait will be painted on a high quality Belgian or Italian fine Linen Canvas, it is stretched on heavy wood, gallery-wrapped and hand-crafted by a professional. The Canvas can be painted on the edges and hung on the wall without framing.
Graphite Pencils & Drawing Accessories
There are various of drawing accessories an artist can use when creating drawings in graphite pencils. I however don't exaggerate on the accessory usage when drawing and sometimes I use pencils only.
Sometimes I use a rag for smudging and also an eraser to make areas lighter, but that's about it really. Naturally, when I don't use clutch pencils, I have to use a pencil sharpener too. My favorite pencil brand is Staedtler, but I also use Koh i Nor sometimes, especially when I want a really black hue. When a drawing is completed and ready to be sent your way, I spray it with fixative.
Pencil Drawing Surface
Fabriano is the paper I'm using for all pencil portraits. This is a well known high quality paper from Italy, used by established and well known artists for centuries. Fabriano is made of 50% cotton with carefully selected raw materials. It's a warm pressed paper which makes it ideal for both watercolor and dry media like pencil. Of course it is also acid-free with excellent resistance to aging.
Conté Crayons & Drawing Accessories
Conté crayons are available in many colors, however I use only a limited amount of colors for my portraits in this medium. The portraits are sketched in sepia with only two colors at the time.
Which colors are used, usually depend on the paper-color and subject. I use black, white, bistre and Sanguine to help me create a painterly styled portrait. Conté crayons are a dry drawing medium, created of compressed charcoal mixed with wax or clay. The sticks, which are very much like hard pastels are from the Conté company in Paris. Iuse two different brushes to smudge.
I may use several different kinds of papers for this medium, but I tend to use the Canson Mi-Teintes Touch Pastel Card most. This paper has a textured surface and is available in many tones.