Friday, June 15, 2012

JD, A Preportrait First Pass


A few more of these, and maybe I'll get closer to a likeness?
A grid, and for sure a likeness. Better angle on the head  than I got
with the three quarter figure drawings below. It's all in the
get acquainted stage.

Reference photo - JD Portrait prep.  Even though the photo is soft focus,
I lightened the exposuretwice to see his features clearer.



His heads not upright enough, but his butt is firmly planted.  I was drawing on
 a small pad, probably bent his head so he wouldn't bump it on the spiral binding?



Close up. He's not playing that string game, I'm noting relationships. I do not like
charcoal pencil as much as the vine sticks. 

 I was confined to a small charcoal pad and the kitchen (given my studio is off the third guest room area). Nine by twelve is tiny to me,sized more for a ballpoint pen.  I'm  really not conditioned to small drawing spaces when I've got charcoal or a paintbrush in my hand.  All I can figure is my awkwardness  comes from art school where no tiny pads were seen in any of my Fine Art classes.  Small sizes must have been the norm for those in graphic arts.   

13 comments:

  1. LInda, I have so enjoyed your charcoal portraits this week (and last? Lost track of time in a craZY week.) But sounds like you've had quite the full-house as well! I love how you can use such soft and subtle lines and value changes... and communicate to much - and in my eyes so accurately!

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    1. Minnemie, I love the immediacy of charcoal and the additive/subtractive modus operandi. I was commenting on Casey Klah's The Colorist, that I'm surprised I never carried it on to pastels. I'm glad you like them, I like doing them--mess, but no fuss and not a big clean up.

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  2. This is lively--like the original. Good work.

    I have had the same issue with small pads. Finally learned to use them. Makes transport much easier.

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    1. I guess I should start carrying them with me, but I would still be using either ballpoint or art pen, so I wouldn't be getting the results you get with charcoal, which definitely belongs on a bigger pad. You need the feeling of space to get the grand gestures that make charcoal drawings so attractive. The charcoal pencil is a different black, too hard and lacks smear. It also doesn't pick up well with the knead. I'm going to raid the studio for my slightly larger pad. They're all out at the market.

      He's a good looking kid, (no prejudice at all). And he'll be a good looking guy. I can see it in his bone structure. Grandmother-wise, I hope he keeps his feet on the ground and doesn't fall for the flattery at the cost of his brain.

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  3. Nice sketches of your young fella! I imagine sketchbooks would take some getting used to if you have not used them...and it's true, come to think of it, most people seem to prefer pen in sketchbooks. Still, you got a great gesture...love the way you got his weight on the rail. Good looking portrait too. :)

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    1. I don't have trouble with them in Cancun. But there, I use art pens and watercolor--illustrators' equipment. They are unsuitable for charcoal UNLESS you go totally subtractive. Details are out of the question, suggestive smears are it.

      I do have his weight on the rail, but not exactly as firmly as it is in the ref photo. The height of the shoulder isn't in line with his butt. I love looking at these drawings in the blog. The translation allows me to see exactly what needs work.

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  4. That was fast! I recognized the California dude as soon as I saw your first sketch. Good job!! I look forward to seeing what you do with him. :)

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    1. Well the kid is here. The excursion is fresh in my mind. Good time to tackle it and start flushing out what to look out for.
      His pose, likeness or not, would make a good painting--a good portrait of youth.

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    2. I like what you've done - simple, very alive..

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  5. Nice sketches, I suck at that. Have a great weekend, and stay out of the water.

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    1. LOL Roger. I just came back from that lake. The water was calm and the lake lived up to its name: Mirror. It was glorious. You have to get back on the horse BUT not necessarily back in the boat. I left the boat alone.

      Thanks. Charcoal is great fun. It's quick. It's first impression, which are often the best.

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  6. Great start! I love charcoal and you sure know how to use it! It is good to see preparatory sketches, something I never do. Slap the paint straight onto canvas...that's me. Can't wait for more, so glad you found me.

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  7. I like to get familiar with my subjects. Charcoal is an excellent medium for that. I won't start the actual oil portrait till fall. I want a few more quickies under my belt. I've only been using oils since February. I'm not quite familiar with them. I admire the gestural style. Not so formal and a bit more candid.

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