Thursday, May 13, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice!

We hear this phrase: practice, practice, practice over and over again, and it's true! Getting a degree or taking classes is no guarantee that you'll be a great artist, or writer, or psychologist, or whatever when you get out. Skill takes years to develop and perfect.

I'm sharing with you some of my earlier drawings; all with artistic flaws. The first sketch is of a young woman who posed in a magazine. Her beauty captured me, and I decided to sketch her while I watched (or should I say, listened) to mindless TV. Her face is slightly off kilter. Her right eye is higher than the left. She had a high forhead, but I over compensated. I should have used the rule of 1/3's and measured her face more carefully. I should have used a ruler to be sure her eyes and ears lined up. Her mouth is slightly crooked, and her chin is too small. I should have focused more on form and alignment before I spent time on the details.

The next drawing is of my grandson, a young violinist whose mother is Korean. I really wanted to paint his portrait. I came close, but not close enough. I couldn't quite capture his nose and eyes. Practice, practice, practice!

The third drawing of a little girl was fairly successful, but I overworked the eyes, and then couldn't correct it. She ended up having a slightly cross-eyed look. I used a combination of charcoal and pencil, and the hair didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped.

The last drawing is my attempt at capturing Raquel Welch. I hope she'll forgive me! Again, I should have modelled the form before adding details. The principle of 1/3's would have improved this drawing. I didn't place the eyes into round, deep pockets; they look somewhat flat. Portraits are the most difficult for most artists. Drawing from both live models and photographs as often as possible is critical. And don't forget the Public Library. When you need a refresher course, the books are free and extremely helpful.

So now I've bared my earliest attempts at drawing the figure. I hope you see the progress I've made on my art gallery: and in my mini gallery on Facebook at AnfinsenArt.