Saturday, February 09, 2008

TSJ Portrait Workshop: Melissa

18 x 24 inches
pencil on paper
about 30 hours

Despite some problems with the drawing, this is probably the best likeness I have ever done. I may have made Melissa look slightly more gaunt and maybe slightly older than she is, but the proportions and placements I feel are pretty reminiscent of her as a specific person.

I feel like Ted's lessons are really starting to sink in, and my drawing is much improved since I started working with him. He's taught me to think of the 3-dimensional forms of what I am looking at (and subforms, and subforms and subforms...), and to try to understand everything in 3 dimensions, instead of just "copying" a pattern of lights and darks. The result is a much more solidly volumetric drawing.

Next week we will be drawing Bridgett, whom I first drew last year, and I can't wait to compare the drawings and see what I have learned.

I've also started experimenting with softer (darker) pencils. I usually use hard pencils, 2H and H, and just gently go over and over to build up the tone. But for this drawing I tried using a combination of 3B and H pencils. I really liked the effect, much larger range of value.

A weird effect is happening in my eyes recently. I am looking very closely at the model, and I guess I am really staring for quite a long time, because sometimes when I look at my paper to draw I am momentarily blinded. Instead of my paper and my drawing, I see the after-effect of the model's image burned into my retinas. It's very disconcerting.

Aside from classwork, this is a sneak preview of what I am working on in my studio right now: