Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Portrait From a Photo

Portrait and Figure Studio resumes in February so I decided to do some portraits from photos in January. 

The first step is to choose a good photograph which is not always easy.  It is amazing how many strange expressions can be captured by a camera, especially if a person is talking or is self-conscious.  Choosing a photograph with strong lighting on the face is also helpful.  Be aware that a photo from a professional photographer may not have the strong shadows that are helpful to an artist.  The professional is usually trying to capture a flattering pose which often means softening wirnkles and lines.

This is a twelve year old girl.  Her age is important to note because proportions of the face change as a person matures.

I enlarged it to  8 inch by 10 inch so it would be close to the size I planned to draw after I had cropped it so the face was more of the picture.  Here is the cropped photo and my drawing beside it.

If you hold a mirror in front of your drawing  or hold your drawing in front of a mirror, often you can find lines of the drawing which need to be adjusted.  You can also reverse the image on the computer and check the lines that way.  For me, the mirror is quicker than using the computer.

After viewing the drawing, I continued refining it and making the shadows more pronounced since the shadows are important to giving a three dimensional effect. 

This drawing is only the first one.  I will do at least one more, varying the grays.  This drawing is mostly three values, dark, mid-gray and white.

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  1. You're off to a great start with that wonderful sketch. Her wispy hair & floral garland will make this a very beautiful & interesting piece. Looking forward to watching the progress.

  2. You caught her essence in this sketch.

  3. It will be interesting to see the progress on this one! :)

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