Sitting in the City

A friend of mine asked me to draw a picture of his wife for her birthday.  He liked a Cindy Sherman inspired portrait I showed at Mornings/Nights in Silver Lake, so I used that as inspiration.  He gave me a gorgeous photo taken by Elvira Barjau (check out her work).  Using Elvira’s photo as a spring board, I applied my digital drawing techniques.  I’ll take you through the process:

Here is the final 11″x14″ portrait:

laurence gift 11x14 web

The line drawing of the buildings:
-I enjoyed drawing the reflections in the glass.  I wanted to balance my use of lines: not too many, but enough to show the shape and convey windows.

laurence gift 11x14 web building lines

Here is the buildings with some of the coloring:

laurence gift 11x14 web buildings some

The line drawing of the portrait:
-I changed the lines from black to white in the final version.  I like to draw light skinned faces with white so the lines aren’t too distracting or mechanical (especially for a portrait like this).  I got ahead of myself, though, and started coloring the image before I had finished the lines.  This created a doubled effect on many of the lines, which works here, but made the variables more complicated (I did this for the building too).

laurence gift 11x14 web lines lady

The original photo:

laurence gift 11x14 web photo


  1. gee, great birthday gift. i’m envious! your rendering is fabulous, and i’m sure this woman will cherish these mementos of her youth for all time.

  2. Good building reflection of other buildings!

    But maybe add color to the black-and-white building in the lower right?

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