Portraits for Australian Financial Review


Kevin O'Donnell has been faithfully drawing portraits for the Australian Financial Review for two and a half years in which he has created dozens of portraits. His tools of the trade are "two fine Radiograph pens and sometimes a Pilot Fineliner pen," with which he takes care with every line to craft these drawings. 

Kevin explains, "If you are careful with your line placement and observe the reference photo closely, you can emulate the subtle shadings of the face and hair - this is what I enjoy." 

We asked him what his process was in creating these portraits - "My first step is always a detailed tracing of the reference shot supplied by the client. I include all the subtitles of the shapes in this. In the final artwork (on fine layout paper), the lines on the face have to follow the contours and shape so you are sort of creating a 3D contour map of the face. When reduced it should look very close to the reference photo but with an old fashioned etching feel like that if a bank note."

Kevin recently drew a portrait of John McDuling who writes about business, technology and the economy in a recent copy of Financial Review. Check out his process below: