|One sure method for capturing an accurate likeness: the grid system |
and laying out the initial drawing by noting strategic points.
|Adjusting the reference photo to fit the size of|
the canvas. A 9" x 11" traced study ready to transfer
to an 18 x 24" canvas.
This portrait I see done cleanly, but as I paint, my opinion constantly changes as the painting develops, so don't hold me to neat. I did decide to definitely paint him with an open lip smile--which I feel is more expressive of a young boy feeling full of himself and crowing about it.
The lines of the background interest me a lot. The way I cropped the reference photo solidly ties the background with the subject and does keep viewers' eyes on the canvas. It is a back lighted photograph, which is not great for portraits, so how I'm going tosolve that issue is still up in the air. The reference photograph was taken in the shade of a canope with natural light behind the subject. My photographic error was not employing the flash, but the boys movements were fast and spontaneous, so there really was no time to fool around with camera settings--another error: not presetting the camera for the snapshot situation a head of time.
NOTE: I have edited this post since first publishing. Feedback was I was embarrassed about using the grid, dot-to-dot method to start a painting. I am not. The method is excellent when resizing is necessary and when there's a tricky drawing challenge--like a head tilted downward as well as turned slightly upward--also for when a figure is in a foreshortened pose. The method saves time and insures an accurate likeness.