The Face of Saint Mary, color pencil
Excited by a debate about "raw symbolic" marks articulated by Kev Ferrara and Chris Bennett on David Apatoff's blog Illustration Art, I was inspired to push my "dead pen" technique further. The sequence below shows some of the steps used in rendering the face of a portrait commission I've been working on of Saint Mary. At a distance, the white lines appear to blend with the colors of the skin, giving a luminous aura to the face.
Pencil sketch on tracing paper
Grayscale and embossed marks on museum board
Close-up showing embossed marks using the dead pen technique
Color pencil rubbed over embossed marks
Finished base colors