|For starters: a pencil drawing using the grid system for enlargement.|
Usually I start a painting free hand using Burnt Umbra on a rag, but for portrait type paintings full of details like this one, I chose to use a reference photo proportional grid to facilitate placement of the figures and their baggage. The grid worked fine for a while, but as I got into the woman on the right, I switched to freehand and depended on my eye. Grids are great, but they have a flaw: it's about the width of your pencil line--and that measurement keeps increasing and throwing off the accuracy of the enlargement. The inaccuracy in this start drawing showed up when I got to the head of the woman on the right. Her face is too narrow. Her chin too square. And her mouth is totally wrong.
Now, if this was a portrait painting where likeness is all important, I'd be in trouble. I'd have relatives of the subjects complaining; but this is a painting about two women who are strangers to me. I don't care about them as people. I can let her disfigurement go--except I can't. The expression she has on her face makes the painting work. It makes the first woman's expression make sense-- and us curious about what they are talking about. I will correct her when I paint in my pencil lines, stage two of this start method.
Painting for me has always been about drawing and figurative drawing is about accuracy. The boy on the upper part of the sketch below was my first attempt at drawing the boy who kept demanding, "Draw me"! It looks like him, but lacked a personality, a story. So I did another sketch right below. Here I got the intensity I saw in his face. His expression is explained further by including his hand. This is the drawing to develop. I showed it to my young friend and he agreed. Then he downloaded the game app I like to pay the most on my iPad.
|Draw Me! Graphite pencil sketch, 4" x 6"|