Using the TV Guide as your guide (part 2)

2 Mar

I’ve been drawing more famous people from my local TV guide (print version). I’m doing this to improve my portrait drawing skills. The low quality of the print ensures that I need to add some of my own interpretation. Furthermore, after the two-week break of the portrait class in my local community college, I want to impress people with the progress I can do on my own.

Albert Verlinde7
7. I didn’t use an eraser for drawing this portrait of Albert Verlinde, so that I would force myself to look carefully before I draw, as well as learn how to correct mistakes without an eraser.

John Wayne (non eraser art)8
8. Another drawing done without an eraser, this time of Western movie star John Wayne.

Lee Van Cleef9
9. I wanted to try two things here: use a colored pencil for an underdrawing, and use a technique to check if your drawing is correct from Bridgman. The first one failed (I couldn’t get the pencil markings to cover the Pentel lead), but the second one succeeded.

Basically it’s like this:

  1. draw a straight line through the root and base of the nose
  2. draw a straight line perpendicular to line 1, going through the base of an ear
  3. draw a “line” from the widest point of the cheek bone to the highest part of the chin
  4. draw a straight line through the intersection point of lines 2 and 3, and the base of the nose

All features (mouth, nose, eyes, ears, etc.) should line up with line 4.

I could see I had made a mistake, and after checking the 4 lines on the original, I was able to correct the drawing.

The pipe is a mess, though. While I drew it, I saw how it was constructed. Sorry.

Drawing from my TV guide
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10. The disadvantage of drawing from low quality photos is that you need to do a lot of interpretation. Even so, the human figure is the human figure and there is some logic to its shape. It is finding this logic which puzzles me. Sometimes I get it, most of the times I don’t.

I started the sketch by drawing a block as the forehead, a plane underneath it, representing the cheek area, the cylinder of the teeth, and a horse shaped lower jaw. This might seem basic to some of you experienced artist, but for me it still is a big mystery.

Cameron Diaz from my TV guide11
11. This is what can happen if you just start drawing. Well, I did some preparation, but I didn’t do enough. A portrait like this, with my current skill level should take at least 3 hours. I took less than 30 minutes. No wonder it is all wonky.

Even in portrait class I often need 30 to 45 minutes to get the basics right, while others do that in less than a minute. I want to be faster, be I guess I have to be patient.

For the moment I’m just slow.

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12. This was a warm-up sketch and drawing from my TV guide, which had a special about Westerns. I think I have never seen this movie, but judging from the description I wouldn’t like it very much, because of the excessive violence.

When making the sketch, I first tried to carefully draw the contours, looking for landmarks, angles and basic anatomy. Even so, I got the left of the drawing completely wrong and had to redraw it while the rest of the drawing was already done. This meant the chin is much too big, although it doesn’t seem too noticeable. In fact, it makes it even stronger than the original photo. The 3D perspective is off as well.

So while there is a lot of things wrong with this drawing, it still is a strong image, because I did pay so close attention to making it look impressive.

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13. In modern Westerns, women aren’t the passive and cute beings anymore, but bad behaving actors that can sling a gun as well as any male cowboy.

To be continued…

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