Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Portraits - I've been thinking...

Talking ‘bout Portraits

Today I’m thinking about portraits. I belong to a Google+ Community (Sketching, Drawing, Painting). I see some amazingly skillful portrait drawings there. Frequently the subject is a celeb, model, movie star, etc. I presume the drawings are from photos. Some of the drawings are photo realistic. Truly amazing.

So, I’m thinking when does a portrait become more than, well, a copy of a photo. Don’t get me wrong, I use photos as reference, but I usually don’t try to do an exact copy.

Typically, I select a photo reference because I am intrigued by the lighting or the pose or the facial features. I may try to capture what intrigued me, but not directly copy them. OK, sometimes I do try to copy the facial features to get a likeness. Also, a direct copy can be a good exercise, but I don’t see doing it for a final piece of art.

What do you think?

Am I way off? Am I getting in trouble here?

Portraits in different media/techniques

This is an exercise sketch/print.
 I did the first one using General’s Sketch and Wash pencil for the face and General’s Carbon Sketch for the hair. The sketch was on a sheet of copy paper.

Print - transfer from above sketch
The print was produced by wetting 90lb watercolor paper, from a sketch pad, and placing it over the sketch. I then rubbed the back of the watercolor paper with the back of a large spoon to activate the transfer.
Old Man - Pen and ink with acrylic wash.
My reference here was a small picture in a newspaper. It was b&w. I was intrigued by the composition. The dark patterns of the background.
Girl Gazing

I was warned that Gouache was a difficult media to start learning to paint with, so that's what I did. I figured if hadn't tried anything else I wouldn't know it was difficult. Well, I know now.....

Miss Pauline
8.5 x 5 watercolor paper, 140 lb from sketchbook

______________________________ Dylan(ish) – digital paint

This was done last year about this time. I had not started using traditional media at that time. I had just joined a daily sketch club. We are supposed to submit a sketch a day. I was about miss a day. I grabbed a Dylan CD cover for a reference and got my submission in.

Old gent sitting - I did this first as a pen and ink and wash about 4x6". Parts of it I liked but overall it was a fail, I learned a few things and tried again.

Here is my redo.
A light pencil sketch, then pen and ink with watercolor.

This one is better, but there are proportion issues. Also, I missed his expression. Too bad, since that was part of my reason for doing this one. He had a gentle, sweet expression. Reference, a picture in the newspaper.
9x12" 140 lb cold press watercolor paper

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