My mother’s portrait completed

I have put the finish coats on my mother’s marquetry portrait and have it hanging up in the dining room. Since the finish made the wood shinier, it was harder to get a good picture than it was after it was sanded.

Mom-original

Completed marquetry panel with original engagement photo

Mom-detail

Detail — there are eight main levels of shading from eye pupils to earring

I have started the pattern for my father’s, but that will take awhile to draw out by hand. I use Cutout and Poster Edges filters in Adobe Photoshop to reduce the tones to several steps of shading.  I end up with several of these made with different settings, all with very complex and confusing lines. Then I take a sheet of vellum and trace the lines I want to represent in wood, based upon which ones I think capture the shape best, and how much detail I want to try to incorporate. These have to be smoothed and simplified as well. This tracing becomes the master “contour map” that I use to trace the shapes directly on the wood using carbon paper.

Dad

My father's original 1952 photo next to computer-generated outlines

This portrait will use an identical background piece and the same woods with a similar number of shading steps.

—Michael

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