Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Portrait Party

12/16/22 Ching, 20-min. pose
After the fun we had last month sketching portraits of each other, Ching and I wanted to do it again, and this time Natalie joined us. After scarfing down donuts at Top Pot, we each took turns posing for 20 minutes while the other two drew.

I didn’t capture Natalie’s likeness very well (below in colored pencil), and when the sun moved behind a tree halfway through, the light changed abruptly. (At least, that’s my story for shading both sides of her face, and I’m sticking to it.) I did much better on Ching, though, compared to my first try last month.

A couple of days later when I was about to practice from a photo, I remembered that I really wasn’t happy with the portrait I had made of Natalie. I tried again (below in graphite), this time from a photo that I had snapped when she posed for us. I think this one captures her essence as well as a relatively good likeness. I still allowed myself only about 20 minutes.

12/16/22 Natalie, 20-min. pose
With all the portrait practice I’ve been doing with reference photos, you’d think that drawing from life would get easier, but it never does. Copying a photo is still good practice for proportions and shading, but there’s nothing quite as challenging as life drawing. In addition to gauging proportions and values, the brain has to work doubly hard to convert the three-dimensional form to the sketchbook page. It’s a workout, and I appreciate any opportunity to practice, especially with two excellent models!

12/18/22 Natalie (from photo)


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