Print Realistic Portraits | Jeslyn Sebold | Skillshare

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Print Realistic Portraits

teacher avatar Jeslyn Sebold

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Sketch In Procreate

    • 3. Transfer Design

    • 4. Materials

    • 5. Print Design

    • 6. Congrats! Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Level up your commission game by learning how to create prints that look like real people! In this class we will use digital media and photo reference to sketch an image the looks like a real person!

This class will focus on creating a successful likeness. We will discuss:

--How to use digital media and photo reference to create a solid sketch
--Which linoleum is the best fit for you
--What to do if you or your client wish to pull their prints using an ink pad

By the end of this lesson, you will be ready to create stamps of people all day long.

Meet Your Teacher


Hi there! I'm Jeslyn, an independent illustrator from Florida. I love to create whimsical artwork that captures emotion. My work is characterized by multiple layers of color and texture.


I am passionate about incorporate printmaking techniques into all of my work. It helps me create those layers of texture and detail all while giving me the space to experiment.  If you'd like to some of my work, check out my website at


In my classes, I will be sharing the basic techniques for pulling prints and what to do with them so you can use them as building blocks to incorporate into your own artwork.


I am looking forward to getting to know you and helping you on your journey to becoming a... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, My name's Jessalyn. I am a freelance illustrator printmaker, working out of my studio, and they were gonna talk about how to take a photo reference and create a portrait in that likeness using traditional relief carving techniques. So follow along. And if you have someone special or just a image that you like that you wouldn't follow along with feel free to do that, too. We're gonna walk through step by step. I start in the computer and find I referenced and then take that and go over the top of it in procreate before I printed out and transferred to the final block. So just so you have a heads up about the tools you will need, you will need access to procreate or photo shop or something, where you can trace your image in a digital format for this particular lesson. And then you will need the traditional printmaking tools, including carving knives, some kind of linoleum, some kind of an ink. If you're going to do it the traditional way, you'll need a rare piece of glass and a bear into pull your prints as well. So gather all your things together and join me the next video. See that 2. Sketch In Procreate: Welcome back. I started by finding an image on Google search. This was the image that I chose of a child. If you're planning on selling this or using it for client, I would recommend taking your own photo instead of finding one on Google. And then I put it in per create on a separate layer before starting to ink. All of the areas that I felt were darkest, so I tried to keep in mind definition, likeness and thoughts of color versus lines because lines can be challenging to. So keep this in mind. Whenever you're going through Irv sometimes and outlining over your photo reference, always make sure as you're going along to turn off the photo reference occasionally and see if it still looks the way you want it to before finalizing it and printing it out. For this particular piece, I use what's called the Studio Pin and Black Beak. Once you've finished outlining, printed out and join me in the next video 3. Transfer Design: Welcome back. Now that you have finished your final sketch and procreate, go ahead and print it out. I have printed by now, and it's about four inches by four inches, for I'm typically doing one of these for a client, we often work smaller because they like to put him on envelopes and stationary. I wouldn't recommend carving anything smaller than two by two just because the detail at that point gets lost. It's very challenging to carve. So anyway, this one's a little bit blown up because I wanted it to be a little bit easier and bigger as I was showing you how I go through the process. Now that I have my image printed and ready to go, I'm going to place a piece of tracing paper over the top of it to trace my design. If you don't like working with tracing paper, another option is to just go over the lines of your print out directly. Either way, you just need some way to transfer your final image to the block to avoid confusion later, I'm coloring in the big blocks because I have discovered if I just outlined them, I get confused whenever I put it on my final block. This is also a last minute place where you could make adjustments if you need Teoh. So if you're doing this for, you know, a personal project, go ahead in and double check and make sure it's exactly what you want. If not, you can always fudge it a little bit with the tracing paper in the pencil. If you're working with a client, what I like to dio, I like to send him the black and white sketch that we've printed just to see what they think. And then if they want revisions, I can do it quickly and procreate. But sometimes it's nice to just do it on the tracing paper feels like I'm kind of It's not cheating but cheating, kind of moving myself forward in the process. Instead of just hanging out in the one sketching stage, you know, try to stick as closely as you can to your printed sketch. This will give you more accuracy for your final image. Make it look like the person you chose. I'm working with a to B pencil to transfer my image. I like to be because it's the right amount of softness for me. It doesn't smudge too much, but it gives me a really nice transfer onto the final block. I wouldn't recommend going any lighter than a B pencil. HB is just a little too light. It really doesn't give you the line. So in the next video, I am going to be transferring this to the block. We'll talk about what block might be best for you to use for your project, depending on what you want to do with it. And there we have our transferred sketch, so stay tuned for more information. 4. Materials: Now that you're ready to pull your print, let's go over and the different types of surfaces you can use for carving, depending on what you would use your stamp for. As you can see, I have four different types of linoleum that typically used for carving these two right here. This great one here and this golden one here are pretty similar. They're harder linoleum there. Dick Blick brand there more challenging to carve, but they hold more detail. So if you're going to be carving the stamp to use for your online profile image or maybe a banner, something that you're only gonna print like one time and actually just use the print of what you've created, please get the most detailed that you have to use a Breyer and a barren in order to pull your print. This right here is a new literally and that I have recently been experimenting with. This is the brand. This is kind of a medium softness, so it's not quite a soft as this, this one right here, but it is softer than the other ones that I just showed you. The other cool thing about this is you can skip the transfer stage for this particular, um, clear linoleum. The downside to this is you have to have really sharp tools because it's very slick so that your knife will slip more easily. So if I found it's a little bit more dangerous and whatever you cut it as well, the little pieces that you carve out stick tight to the surface, so it kind of has its ups and downs. It's great for like, a medium detailed piece, and you can use just like a plane ink pad for it. So if you're doing this for a client who is not gonna be using a Breyer in a barren kind of rolling in cologne to it, and they're just going to use kind of one of these ThinkPads for it, this is a fairly good option. You still get pretty good detail with it, and it's pretty reliable. This one here is actually the best one to use this really soft, thick linoleum. This is, I think it's called the Easy cut and speedball makes it. This is not my favorite to carve because it's so soft. It's hard to get all the detail in it, but it's great for clients who are going to be using it with just a plane in a pad. So if you are planning on doing this for a client who's gonna be using an ink pad, I would recommend either the clear one or this really soft one. This is the one I'm going to be using today. 5. Print Design: So, as I said before, I chose the soft distantly block. That way, with my final, I can just use an ink pad if I want to. So once you decide which linoleum works best for you, take a guess and lay it face down again. I tape it in place because I really don't like things moving around before I'm ready for him to this literally miss so soft that I can use the back of a spoon or even my hand or burnishing tools like this. Two. Very simply, transfer my life. You could see how clear it comes out. If you're using a harder linoleum, I would recommend going over your pencil lines with a pencil one more time to really be precise and nail down where this is going to transfer. I'm holding my hand over half of that so it doesn't shift. But that way could make sure I got my pants for all the way across. Cleaning clear looks like that come out pretty nice. So now that I'm done with that because this is so soft, it's really not worth it to go over it with a Sharpie. But the downside of leaving these lines and pencil is when I carve after really careful because your finger will smear and eventually rubbed them away. So keep this in mind if you want to go over it with a, um you know, clear Jess Oh, or clear Matt medium something like a thin coat like that. They will protect the surface, and it won't hinder your carving too much. It will make it slightly more challenging, but not enough to really make a difference. So I went ahead and crop my image so that I wasn't trying to turn that whole huge piece of linoleum because this is pretty thick and soft so it can be cumbersome one and carving to turn. I am also going to be using my favorite tools. These are Japanese style carving knives. So I got these up of the website called the Claims Printmaking, and I started with the standard kit which contained most of these. And then over the years, I have just slowly added to it. This is my core set that I really like to work with, because it gives me a nice variety of the other cool thing about these. Nice from MacLean's is that you can send them in for sharpening. You can send them, they're set, and you will do it for free for you and then send it back. I'm at a point now where I sharpen my own knives. But before I felt confident doing that, it was really nice to have that as an option. If you're still a beginner and you don't want to splurge for this large of a set, I totally understand this. People Beginner kit will work. Just find a carve, a soft linoleum as well, or even the harder Linux aliens, and they just they slip war. And it's harder, in my opinion, to get the detail that I really like. So I'm gonna be using these today. You use what you have. It's gonna be great. Okay, so to get started with this guy, I will probably carve away most of the larger areas first, and then I'll start working my way to the smaller areas. So let's get started. I'm trying not to touch the pencil lines because I know that they will smear and potentially ruin my image. And I found that if I get the larger areas carved out first there is less of a chance of me sneering the pencil lines because I've got other places where I can put I put my hand. I'm not too worried about kind of these rough peaks and valleys happening here as long as they stay pretty small. I shouldn't have a problem with printing. Later, I would probably turn a car like a 16 through an eighth of an inch deep for this, Just in case you are using an ink pad you've got, um you have thicker, taller lines to catch the ink so that you don't get all that texture. If you're a texture person, don't carbs OD. Now that I'm finished carving this little guy, he is ready to print. Now, as you can see, I went ahead and I carved around the outside of the portrait as close as I could get. Because of using the softest linoleum, I wanted to give the least amount of extra places ink could collect as possible. So now all I need to do is print it. I know I didn't show a thorough carving walk through in the city. Oh, if you would like access to a thorough step by step carving. Go ahead and check out my first video. The Beginner's Guide to Leno Cuts creates first print. I walk through the different kinds of knives I use and have to carve away from your body, and you can see the whole process on film today. I wanted to focus more on the actual printing and getting a likeness versus walking through how to carve step by step. It's not ready. We can go ahead and grab our printing supplies. I'm gonna go ahead and print with this acid free archival ink because I do have clients. Like I said previously, that used this to print. I just be printing on regular printer paper down, and I'm gonna rub it gently back and forth to try and get all the ink collected in the higher areas. I'm not pressing hard when I breath, but I am rubbing pretty quickly, hoping that the ink will collect evenly. Nice and it looks like I need a little more ink. Here's I'm going. Try one more time. That looks like a pretty good ink up. Although I'm using soft linoleum, I still want to press pretty hard to make sure that I get the most clear, accurate print that I can, so I'm going all around with my fingers, and I'm I'm putting quite a bit of pressure there to pull my print now. Like I said before, if you have used the tougher linoleum to get even more detail than what has been achieved here, you can see I lost a little bit of the delicacy of the fine lines around the eyes and mouth . If you wanted those more delicate, you'd probably have to go for a stiffer linoleum. And if that's the case, you have to use the traditional Breyer rolling out the ink, thinking it up and then printing. But because this is so soft, I'm able to get away with this now. The last thing I would do if I was doing this for Client is I would put a backing on this stamp. I will glue it with superglue to a wooden backing like this. I typically will get a piece of unfinished wood from my local craft store, and I'll print the likeness on the side before a hearing it to the other side, just to secure it so that the client knows exactly what they're getting. Typically, I carved smaller, so you have something that looks more like this, which fits perfectly on this 2.5 by 2.5 inches circle. So that's it for me. If you do need to see the traditional ingot method again, please refer back to the Beginner's Guide to Leno. Cuts. Create your first print where I walk through, rolling out the ink what it should look like. The different kinds of thinks you can use etcetera. All right, stay tuned for final thoughts and project time. We'll see the next video. 6. Congrats! Final Thoughts: Congratulations. You finish pulling your print. I'm so excited for you. These definitely make for great invitations. Birthday cards, Christmas tags, even gift wrap if you have. You know, maybe a new addition to your family that you want to share with everybody. So feel free. Teoh, finish up your work and share it on the project page so that we can all take a look at it and went all over it. Like I'm sure you already have. Join me. Next time for another video about printing. See you there.