How to Create a Sepia Graphite Portrait in Photoshop (with tutorial video)

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A portrait of Ava done with Photoshop CC 2017. Printed on Epson Ultra Premium Matte Photo paper.

A Video Tutorial on Capturing a Vintage Image from the Internet and Restoring It in Photoshop

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You can easily capture a vintage image from the internet and restore it with Photoshop and then create a Before-and-After photo. Here is a YouTube video I created showing how I did this restoration in about 10 minutes.

Here is a composite image of the restored image captured from Ancestry.com of Carol’s great-uncle Herman E. Carter.

Here is a short YouTube video showing how I captured and restored Corporal Carter’s photo and then created a side-by-side image of the restoration.

Herman Carter – a WW1 Hero! A Restoration of His Posthumous Certificate of Honor from France

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This is my most ambitious photo restoration ever! I got this box of scraps from Carol’s mom from a drawer I opened when we helped her get ready for getting carpet installed. It is a posthumous memorial certificate for Herman Carter – Carol’s great uncle who was killed in World War 1 while sitting up in a tree. The war had just been declared over and the armistice signed, but the troops where he was didn’t know it (and the enemy didn’t know it). This is a labor of love and took many hours. The certificate was given by the French government to the U.S. soldiers who gave their life in the war and is signed by the president of France. I am not sure how to put the original back together but at least this print will be able to be framed nicely. I have tried to preserve the patina of the document. Also, it means a lot to me because my grandfather also fought in France in World War 1 and received the French Medal of Honor. I have the medal framed with the certificate which I got from my mom. My grandfather went to France when he was 17 and fought with the French before the U.S. entered the war. Maybe he and Herman knew each other! What brave men our country has had serving over many years and in many wars. And thank you to all the troops serving today!

This is the final 13"x19" Document restored from the torn and damaged original pieces.
This is the final 13″x19″ Document restored from the torn and damaged original pieces.
Original scanned pieces.
Original scanned pieces.

Here is a YouTube video of the restoration project. You can scan forward if you want to see how I put together the pieces and cleaned up the document for printing:

A before and after view of the Memorial Certificate issued in 1918 to the family of Herman E. Carter, killed in action in France on November 6th, 1918.

Josiah – Graphite on copy paper – 8 1/2″x11″ with Powder Blender

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I took this picture of my wonderful grandson Josiah a couple years ago as he was looking out his front window. I’ve been wanting to do a drawing from it and decided to do a quick sketch on some HP copy paper to get an idea of how I wanted it to look. I was using some new Caran d’Ache Graphwood pencils (2B, 3B, 6B and 8B) I got from Dick Blick last week. The drawing kept getting better and better and I couldn’t stop. I got to a point where I wanted to smooth out the background and skin tones and decided to try the Powder Blender system and it worked great. (brushandpencil.com). The system is designed for colored pencils – especially oil base pencils, but the texture and grit of the powder made a great vehicle to even out the textures. I’ll try it on a more robust paper (Strathmore 500 Bristol Plate) next time! Anyway, here’s the “sketch” and a YouTube video of the Powder Blender system and how I used it for this drawing.

Original photo:

Original photo of Josiah in profile
Original photo of Josiah in profile
Josiah on HP 24lb Copy Paper with Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils and Powder Blender
Josiah on HP 24lb Copy Paper with Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils and Powder Blender

Christy and Ezra – 6″x10″ Pencil on Canson XL Bristol Smooth Paper

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A 6″x10″ pencil drawing of my wonderful daughter Christy and grandson Ezra taken last week at Jones Bridge Park with our family. I took the photo with my Sony A6000 camera and did a time-lapse video of the drawing on Youtube. Check it out below!

A pencil drawing on Canson XL Bristol Smooth paper.
A pencil drawing on Canson XL Bristol Smooth paper.

Please visit my Hoffman Creative Media Facebook Page and comment or ask questions. Hit the “Like” button while you’re there!

Use your iPhone to create a great photo of your art…

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How many times have you wanted to capture that piece of art you created but it’s under glass and the reflections make it impossible?Or you want to catalog a bunch of images in your scrapbooks or art journals? Or perhaps you have some older drawings and paintings that you can’t seem to get cropped properly. Watch my tutorial on how to use your cellphone and Photoshop to capture, color correct and reframe your images so they are suitable for submission to shows, posting on your website or Facebook pages or send to clients for approval. Here’s a YouTube video I created with tips on how to showcase your work in all these situations.

A Portrait of Jonny – Colored Pencil with Powder Blender – 8″x10″

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Jonny Colored Pencil
8″x10″ Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils and Uart 800 Sanded Paper. I did this drawing of Jonny with Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils and used the Powder Blender system to create an “oil painting” effect on the portrait. For more information on the Powder Blender system, visit brushandpencil.com

 

For a tutorial on this drawing, please visit my YouTube Channel and watch a “speed drawing” of the creation of this portrait! Please leave me some feedback and share your thoughts on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/hoffmancreativemedia.

“See Rock City!” Colored Pencil on Ampersand Smooth Surface Art Board – 6 1/2″ x 10″

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I did this fun image for the November Colored Pencil Magazine contest. I decided to plop the little blue house they provided as a target image down in North Georgia where you see “See Rock City” painted on hundreds of barns, stores and billboards. (check out and visit the amazing Rock City in Chattanooga, Tennessee! (http://www.seerockcity.com/). Yes it’s not as precise as I usually do but I decided to go “Grandma Moses” on this one and let a bit of the primative George out for a few days…I’ll go back in my more  traditional work after this departure!!!

“See Rock City” 

Colored Pencil – Polychromos and Prismacolor using Powder Blender system by Brushandpencil.com for layering.

A 6 1/2" x 10" Colored Pencil painting on Ampersand Smooth Surface Art Board
A 6 1/2″ x 10″ Colored Pencil painting on Ampersand Smooth Surface Art Board

 

Other source images I took and used: 

A barn at the end of Jones Bridge Road at Hwy 141 in Cumming, Georgia
A barn at the end of Jones Bridge Road at Hwy 141 in Cumming, Georgia

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Here is the original image provided by Colored Pencil Magazine:

Original Little Blue House file
Original Little Blue House file

Coffee Cup and Seashell – Black and White Colored Pencils on Toned paper

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Black and White Charcoal from sketchbook with toned paper.
Black, Sepia  and White Colored Pencils –  from one of my sketchbooks with toned paper.

“Almost Ancestors” Montage in Charcoal

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In 1973 I purchased a book called “Almost Ancestors” with amazing photos of Native Americans that lived in California in the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s. I did a number of charcoal and pencil drawings of them and was so touched by their faces and what stories they represented. As one Amazon reviewer I read put it “What a sobering realization that in these images lie remnants of the lives of 50 California Native American nations with independent languages and cultures that no longer exist. Like old treasured books–lost in the shuffle of years–these faces mutely bring to light one of humankind’s darkest hours.”

I did this 15″x30″ charcoal drawing in 1975 and recently found and scanned a 35mm slide I had taken of it. I’d forgotten about drawing it and wonder who has it now!

If you’re interested, here is a link to “Almost Ancestors” in Amazon books – it is only available used. https://www.amazon.com/Almost-Ancestors-Californians-Theodora-Kroeber/dp/B000NOLOZI

A charcoal montage of images from the book "Almost Ancestors" of native Americans living as early as 1850.
A charcoal montage of images from the book “Almost Ancestors” of native Americans living as early as 1850.