These are strange and worrying times and I hope we are all soon safely through to the other side, with as many people as possible being okay. I’m very aware of how lucky I am, to be able to keep myself safe, to have family who are safe, and to be living in a beautiful and uplifting part of the country. Not everyone is so fortunate.
I’m glad I have something I enjoy doing that I can do from home. Drawing has been helping to keep me sane and is giving me an ongoing sense of purpose.
I’ve been using the extra time I have to develop my technique. I completed an excellent Craftsy course called Drawing Facial Features, by Gary Faigin. In this course, Gary clearly explains and demonstrates how the underlying features of the skull influence the shape of the face. I was once very much of the opinion that I didn’t need to know any anatomy because it was enough just to draw what you could see. I was wrong. My portrait drawing has got better since I completed this course. I/m not entirely sure why but I think that having just this very rudimentary understanding helps to prevent my eye being misled. It also helps me see, and then pick out, the underlying structure of a face.
What you brain sees isn’t always what’s there and you need to draw what’s there, not necessarily what you see.
I’ve also been drawing a quick (fifteen minutes or so) portrait or pose every morning using the very useful Quickposes website. I decided from the beginning that even if one of these sketches looked okay, I would never show any of them to anyone. This helped take away any pressure and has helped me establish it as a daily habit.
I haven’t been neglecting my portrait drawing though. I’ll post some more of these in the future but here’s one for now.
If you’re interested in commissioning a portrait then take a look at this page and then get in touch! Portraits are a great way of showing someone you care for them even if you can’t be close to them right now and I’d love to help you make that connection.