Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Portrait drawing class


When I first get to Portrait drawing class on Friday nights - my hands are clumsy and I can't draw worth a bean as shown by the two awful drawings above. And no...I'm not fishing - I've posted these to talk about something that I learned this week.

By the second drawing I'm feeling a bit looser yet also a bit more tense. Our instructor wants us to only use contrast - dark and light and since I haven't learned to see that way yet, it's hard for me - very hard. I have trouble getting over Color, and color gradations to see thru to dark and light. I know that literally my eyes need training to see differently so I work hard at it - too hard. Trying to get dark and light yet make it look like a person - whew. Tough for me to do.

The third drawing was a bit better in terms of dark and light and at the end I threw in some color to placate my eyes. Our model was in front of a green chalkboard and had an orange sweater on. She had the most beautiful eyelids - the only problem was that she kept falling asleep!


By the 4th drawing - I'd had enough of trying to make the drawing look like our model and I just went for the dark and light. No one in class liked this one, they were rather horrified. But I did like it! Maybe because I knew what I was doing and why - but I also like the lips here the best. Yes, it's a bit of a caricature but in terms of learning dark and light, I think it's the best one.

So what did I learn? To get over trying (once again) to be perfect. To draw, and then draw again. To play. To not worry about what others think (the instructor is quite the realist and perfectionist - very very good painter).

I'm hoping to go into this Friday's class with this new attitude intact. We'll see how it all works out.

13 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is a class I need to take. I have tried to draw portraits and failed miserably. I am inspired by your sticktoitness. While I can't see your models I can see improvement of drawing. I can remember a teacher fussing at me to draw what I "see". I thought I was. Ha...

Marion said...

As you say, this is a really hard thing to do until your eyes are trained to see things in contrasts this way. I played around with photo shop until I could do and see it, years ago.

I don't understand why there was horror at your third try...I think it's good!! In fact, I like all of them. You'll be showing them all how to do these portraits next thing you know...

studio lolo said...

My favorite is the next to last one with the color. I love her expression.


I see improvement too Mim. And what's important here is that you're getting what YOU want out of it. You don't need to draw as well as the instructor who chooses realism. Your faces have as much emotion and character as any I've seen!

sukipoet said...

the second drawing you show is just beautiful. Kathe Kollowitz like. I prefer, in this context, the black and whites. your final drawing and all of them really show great insight and depth, great passion for drawing, for the human face. Onward!!

Lynn said...

I love the feelings you have captured in your drawings. I don't know diddley squat about dark and light or anything else you are learning, but I know what looks good to me and these do! She does have great features!!! lids, nose, lips...what a challenge and I like how you tackle it all!

Teri C said...

I like the progression here and I laughed at your need for color as I am that way also. But hey, it's your art, you need to do what makes you happy. The one with color is very good and my fav.

Lori ann said...

Lovely tries, all of them. I think you deserve an A+.

Robin said...

As your "resident non-artist" friend, I have to say I am impressed by all of the sketches!
Perfect - or not - they capture EMOTION....and CHARACTER....and to me, this is what ART is all about!

Hugs,

♥ Robin ♥

ElizT said...

"I paint what I see, which is not necessarily what is there."
Said to me by a good painter.
I love the final one.

Barbara/myth maker said...

Wow, I think your portraits are really coming along great!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Mim, you should check out Laure, at http://paintedthoughtsblog.blogspot.com/ ..if you havent seen her blog..She posted a black and white drawing she did from a Goose photo I posted. With my OK....Its a wonderful lesson in shades of black and white. I admire you for going to this class and drawing from life. I would be to intimidated. :)But you are learning about yourself for doing it. Thats great.

Baino said...

Mim, each have their merit. Lets face it if we wanted an exact reproductin, we'd take a photograph. You're improving no end and a gazillion times better than I would ever be. I'll keep painting my portraits with words and leave pastels to the experts.

AtelierBrigitte said...

That sounds like so much fun - taking these classes. And the results look great.