Pen & Ink Portrait of Russian Patriarch Kirill – Here is a sequence of photos documenting progress on my pen & ink portrait of Russian Patriarch Kirill. This project started with a few thumbnail sketches. Using a #2 pencil, I made several thumbnail sketches. I wanted the entire artwork to fit on an 18″ X 24″ piece of Bristol Board. Also, I wanted anyone who knew Patriarch Kirill to know it was him. I did not want a large composition with a vast scene. To much stuff and his face would not be big enough. I wanted this project to be quick. I did not want it to be like a landscape painting that drags on forever trying to figure out lighting and researching certain species of grass and trees.
Pencil Sketch and Composition
Found a few photos of the Patriarch with good reference on his clothing. I composed a photo of him holding his staff that resembles the handle end of a sword. Unfortunately, I could not find sufficient reference on the detailed engraving of this particular staff, so I had to remove it and make him holding just the staff with the end of the staff out of view. My nib is a Hunt 22B and the nib holder is a Koh-I-Noor “Made in Germany” No. 127 model. After completing the pencil drawing on the 18″ X 24″ 400 Series Bristol Board, I begin the ink drawing.
Crow Quill Pen and Nibs
Using an old nib with lots of wear and draw all the outlines. An old nib can no longer make small lines but it can still be used to draw the thick lines, so I draw the thick lines first. Afterwards, I take a new Hunt 22B nib and put in the nib holder and beging drawing the thinnest lines for the skin first. When the nib is new, I want to draw the thinnest lines first before the nib becomes tired and can’t make the small lines. Once the thinnest lines are drawn, I go back and go over some lines where a little more shade or tone is needed.
Correcting Mistakes in Pen & Ink
If I make a mistake, I take some acrylic paint (Permanent White), and paint out the mistake. Acrylic paint works well for pen & ink mistakes because if you need to ink over top of it, you can. I made a lot of mistakes around the eyes. I painted them out and inked over top of the acrylic and the mistakes are not visible. Very nice.
I should have the pen & ink portrait of Russian Patriarch Kirill completed in a few days. I make another post with additional notes and photos of the finished drawing. Also, I’ll include information on where to buy prints of Russian Patriarch Kirill.