Archive | November, 2010

Portrait course, lesson # 12

29 Nov

I decided to go “old-school” and draw with charcoal on white paper. Well, I forgot to buy colored paper.

Portrait Course 2010-11-29 # 11
1 After a few failed attempts to set up a drawing, I finally had something workable.

Portrait Course 2010-11-29 # 22
2 Shading in the face and an indication of the hair.

Portrait Course 2010-11-29 # 33
3 With the help of the instructor the far side of the model was drastically improved.

Portrait Course 2010-11-29 # 44
4 The hair and eye brows added. There wasn’t enough time to finish the hair.

Portrait course, lesson # 11

22 Nov

Continuing the method by William L. Maughan, I did another two-colored pastel painting on grey toned paper. Frankly, the paper isn’t really taking the pastel pencils, or the pencils are just too hard. It could also be that I need to just work with what I have.

Portrait Course 2010-11-22 # 11
1. In the first hour I did a warmup sketch, which I used to draw a Smurfette hat on the model, to lighten the mood of this artist.

Portrait Course 2010-11-22 # 22
2. After fooling around in the first hour, I decided to draw the model full size in the second hour. I needed little guidance of the instructor.

Portrait Course 2010-11-22 # 33
3. The hair was a bit of a puzzle, and it had more volume than I drew here.

Portrait Course 2010-11-22 # 44
4. The instructor gave the top of the hair more volume. He also asked me to use black for the darker colors, because the red pastel pencil is not dark enough.

Even though I needed 30 minutes less to complete this drawing, I still think it was much better than the one before, where the instructor had quite some “intervening” to do. The model took photos of all the drawings, except mine. I guess that is to be expected, because the others had spent 6 hours on their drawings, while I had only spent an hour. However, I’m there to learn, not to please the model. I think I learned a lot from the 3 drawings, more than I would have done from a single drawing. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Portrait course, lesson # 10

15 Nov

This time I decided to use pastel pencils, as suggested in the book “The Artist’s Complete Guide To Drawing The Head” by William L. Maughan, where the paper is a middle tone between white and sanguine red, giving you 4 possible tones (white, paper, light sanguine, dark sanguine). The white is using mostly for indicating highlights.

Portrait Course 2010-11-15 # 11
1. Quick sketch of 20 minutes of the model, at a quarter of the usual size.

Portrait Course 2010-11-15 # 22
2. First set-up, with the contours of the model in sanguine pastel.

Portrait Course 2010-11-15 # 33
3. Further definition of the features. Notice that the mouth is not put right in the face (too far to the model’s left).

Portrait Course 2010-11-15 # 44
4. Definition of the hair and tones in the face. Notice that the head is too wide at the lower half (belove the eyes).

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5. Trying to make the face somewhat narrower, but I guess I overdid it. Perhaps I should have put the eyes differently in the face to begin with.

Portrait Course 2010-11-15 # 66
6. Here the instructor stepped in and redrew the mouth. It clearly was too far to the model’s left.

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7. I put some extra effort in getting the eyes more expressive. I also had to put on more sanguine pastel, because after applying fixative, it goes deeper into the paper than the white pastel, making it appear fainter than without the fixative.

I must say that, apart from next week, when I didn’t feel so good, each week I see some improvement. If I put all the results from weeks 2 until 10 side by side, I see a gradual improvement in skill level. It seems I’m not paying all those euros for nothing.

And I believe this was the first time I felt somewhat relaxed while drawing. The instructor didn’t give too much critique, because I clearly needed much (well, except the mouth and the width of the face, perhaps).

Portrait course, lesson # 9

9 Nov

This week I was a bit absent-minded, so I needed help from my instructor. He redrew the left eye and gave me lots of instructions, because I simply couldn’t see, like my brain was turned into clay. So I didn’t learn much this time, unfortunately. Well, I learned one thing. You need to be on when drawing portraits. You simply can’t phone it in.

Portrait Course 2010-11-08 # 11
1. Like I wrote, I was a bit absent and couldn’t concentrate. Even so, I tried to get a likeness.

Portrait Course 2010-11-08 # 22
2. Luckily, the instructor helped me to get the basics right, because I simply couldn’t.

Portrait Course 2010-11-08 # 33
3. Putting on shadow tones, I saw the shape of the head wasn’t right. So somehow I got into the groove of drawing again.

Portrait Course 2010-11-08 # 44
4. Here the back of the skull was put in, and some indication of the hair was added. Also, as suggested by my instructor, the jaw line and back of the neck was adjusted.

I guess everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I’m glad that I had an instructor to help me through, so I didn’t have to deal with the frustration of failure. Yes, the drawing was a success (sort of), but only because I got so much help. Anyway, I’ll get a rematch next week and the week thereafter, because the model is going to sit for us another two times. Hopefully, next time I’ll be more relaxed and able to concentrate at the task at hand.

Thanks for reading and if you’re anxious to try some portrait drawing yourself, please find a good instructor, because he or she will help you through those days you just don’t see it. It is muscling through the hard times that hardens you for when you’re all on your own and want to draw a portrait even though it seems impossible to complete.

Portrait course, lesson # 8

1 Nov

I decided to be a little bit more light-hearted and not take the portrait drawing course too seriously, yet work hard to get it right.

Portrait Course 2010-11-01 # 0

0. As a comics artist I couldn’t resist the opportunity to draw this quic sketch of the model, comics style. After this, the serious drawing started. Some thought this was the best drawing of the two.

Portrait Course 2010-11-01 # 1

1. The first initial setup was done in roughly 30 minutes. The rest was lack of skill, and trying to make small changes, and see if it works.

Portrait Course 2010-11-01 # 2

2. After 1.5 hours of nett drawing time, I still wasn’t done fiddling with the features. The hair is nice, though.

Portrait Course 2010-11-01 # 3

3. Final version. I discussed with the instructor to do color, but he said that I first need to be more confident in drawing with charcoal. When I asked what he meant with “more confident”, and asked if he meant the finishing touch on the features, he said: “Yes.” Don’t I know it. So I’ll be doing charcoal for now, unless I get a breakthrough in my skills.