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As I said, I did some drawings Saturday evening after wheedling a friend of mine to hold still and let me try and draw her. I need to work on portraits and she's got a great face to try and draw. It's got a lot of interesting angles and catches the light really well. Did I succeed? NOT AT ALL, but in the interest of improving and being honest with myself, here you go.

Just so you, my adoring public can see, I took a craptacular picture with my camera phone so you can compare with the actual drawing. Again, it's a crappy picture...it was MUCH cooler looking in real life.

Photo of Donna

Portraits are THE hardest thing and for me, the better I know a person the tougher the drawing is to attempt. Because you KNOW them, you KNOW what they look like, they ALWAYS want to see... basically for me the tension level is through the roof. Still...better to learn to draw something HARD because then all the rest will be easier. Or something. Anyways... I've GOT to improve because hands down, portraits are my weakest area.

DRAWING of Donna

Not timed...maybe 20-25 minutes.

Click icon for full image

The proportions are off, I got lost in the shadow and should have been more careful in laying out the planes of the face. As is, it's a bit of a mess I think.

What do you think, sirs?


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC)
The photo being what it is, her nose looks a little more (elongated) tear-drop shaped than you have. Although there is a little more shadow in the pic and I can't see the nose really well.
Dec. 19th, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC)
Nods. It's a learning curve that's for sure. Hopefully she'll let me have another go because she really does have a great face for drawing.
Dec. 19th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC)
It's hard drawing people you know also because you don't want to offend them. I think it's a decent likeness though. I engaged in a similar exercise recently and found it thoroughly frustrating for the same reasons.
Dec. 20th, 2005 01:38 am (UTC)
since you didn't ask for it...
this is my very unprofessional opinion...
I think that perspective is the most important thing in a portrait.
It's hard to abstract the features because they are soo subtle.
The angle of the head is visible in every part of it, once you decide how that head is tilted, then you can place all your lines to conform to that particular angle, thrust, tilt, direction, perspective, whatever...
The perspective makes the side turned away, or further from you, smaller, and if you don't get that, it looks wrong. If you err on the small side, it's just fine.

That is my biggest critique of what you've done. Because the right side of her face is turned from us, it's going to be smaller, more compact all over, yet you've made it too large. It looks like her heads straight on, and her jaw is jutting out. I'd lessen the strength of the line in that bottom corner of her jaw, make it fuzzy and soft so that it almost disappears around her. I feel that this turning of the far side is the most important thing in a portrait.
I think your planes are really strong. Look at that neck! The hair needs a unified darkness to it, but the lines are quite nice. A lot of good work there, do another, another!
Dec. 22nd, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
Re: since you didn't ask for it...
Lo hare'. In January. :)

Thanks for the critique. It totally helps.
Dec. 20th, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)
The unfortunate thing about proportions is that by the time you figure out that they are off, you are already well into the drawing and it is a bear to correct them.

*tears it up and starts all over again*
Dec. 21st, 2005 09:58 am (UTC)
or the converse...

The nice thing about proportions, is that when you get them right at the beginning, the rest of the drawing is just filling it in.
Dec. 22nd, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
Good point – if you can successfully See the proportions and train the hand to transmit them accurately, that's a significant development.
Dec. 22nd, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC)
Need to work on that. One of the best things I think I can do when I am first embarking on decent portraiture is SLOW THE HECK DOWN!!!

...and I hear my package made it?
Dec. 22nd, 2005 05:32 pm (UTC)
True... Need to remember that. And slow down. Sigh.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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