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.

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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).

Portrait Course 2010-11-15 # 55
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).

2 Responses to “Portrait course, lesson # 10”

  1. gonzalexx November 16, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    Excellent, Rene!
    Improvement shows, as you say you feel itt does!
    I had no idea about the fixative behavior, then again, I haven’t used either fixative, or pastels in that manner.
    Apart from the small placing problems you mention, as a whole, it looks awesome. You can see how this person is feeling. After sitting for a while, anyone can get restless, but I imagine you froze the one look you wanted, and it looks great.
    Thanks so much for sharing. The way you describe the process is worth your effort in putting it down and more. It shows how you are analyzing as you draw, and brings out the value in the experience. This portrait session is great.
    Thanks again!

  2. René November 16, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    Yes, pastels don’t like fixative. This means you always need to go easy with fixative. However, to transport the drawing I roll it up and put it in a tube. This mean I have to use quite some fixative to prevent it attaching to the backbof the paper. And when I store it at home, I put it on top of the drawing of the previous lesson, to save space and money.

    Finding storage methods and room for my artwork is a problem anyway. There are storage cabinets, bur I really don’t have the room, nor the money to buy those. I guess I just have too much stuff.

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