|First graphite portrait in a year ... just glad to be drawing again|
But strangely enough, for a piece that's one year too late I'm actually still quite happy with it. Despite over 365 days of neither acquiring any new skills nor honing any existing ones, I didn't wholly lose what I had previously learned. Some mistakes were repeated, some avoided. Inconsistencies abound but thankfully any skill regression was kept to a minimum. That's not saying much since I wasn't starting from a high base but a relief nonetheless for someone looking to progressively improve.
|Portrait Practice #15 on Star Wars The Force Awakens Rey as played by Daisy Ridley|
Drawing an accurate and recognisable portrait is said to be one of the hardest things to do. Any little thing can make a portrait drawing look nothing like the subject matter in question. Even knowing that, I had for some unfathomable reason decided to shift the position of Rey's irises to show her gazing directly ahead instead of off into the distance like in the original reference image.
|Adjustments to the portrait meant Rey's eyes now stared directly ahead versus off into the distance|
This was a genuinely idiotic thing to do as it heaped more pressure on me to get the graphite blending/shading of the lights and shadows accurate enough to depict a face/neck that is tilted upwards and off to the side. Specifically to the image in question, the new location of the irises implies that Rey's facial plane was directly parallel to the drawing paper which isn't the case at all. These are some of the little things that make you go ... D'oh! ... Homer Simpson style.
|Portrait was completed with both traditional as well as mechanical pencils|
In a way, I'm starting to feel constrained by the student grade papers I draw on. That could mean two things. The good - I'm improving. The bad - it's not the paper its me. A lot of top artists use smooth Bristol paper to draw realistic graphite portraits. Unfortunately, it's still too expensive for me to buy such drawing papers online due to prohibitive shipping costs. Instead, what I could do was source a possible equivalent - the Daler Rowney Smooth Cartridge Pad - locally. Going forward I will use both the existing Daler Rowney Graduate Pad as well as the new drawing pad to draw the portraits.
|Reference image/photo of Rey that was used for this practice session|
In addition to my graphite drawing and miniature painting hobbies, I've also been bitten by the colored pencil bug. You heard right ... colored pencils. But not your low pigment school variety. It's the highly pigmented Sanford Prismacolor Premier (wax based), Faber Castell Polychromos (oil based) as well as Derwent Coloursoft (wax based) fine art pencils I'm talking about. There will be the usual bedding in period with a new art medium but it's going be a fun journey to complement what I already enjoy doing now. Life's all about the journey and I can't wait to get started on this one, with continuing progress on my other two hobbies of course. Hopefully, you'll join me for the ride!