Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Last Portrait (for a while)

This is my final offering in the "Sargent in January" project. I didn't capture a likeness here and I didn't capture the mood as I wanted to, but I do think it is a stronger portrait than I could have done at the beginning of the month. In short, I am cautiously pleased. Here are some end-of-the-month thoughts...

Things I learned from JSS:
  • to use my pencil boldly. I got this from reading about how much paint he used and also trying to mimic charcoal effects with a pencil.
  • get the structure right or start again. Trying to correct something later just doesn't work well with portraits.
  • the right shape to suggest a feature is likely to be all you need. (i.e. it is too easy to overwork details in portraits and then the whole falls short).
  • work around the whole thing as you go, don't zero in on details until the end.
Other things I learned:
  • I like blogging, it really adds a fun dimension to things for me.
  • After drawing exclusively portraits for a month, I have much more confidence in approaching them.
  • Focusing on one thing for a month is a good way for me to learn (this idea isn't new with me!) It gives me immediate direction when my drawing time rolls around for the day. Also, it helps me tackle the issues I want to (and not run away) with the promise that I will be done with it for awhile in a few weeks.
  • I also learned that a pencil (one color) can really be used for a tremendous variety of marks.
I'm ready for a new month. I think February will be landscapes. Today I began with a few tricky water scenes...a waterfall and a lake. More posts later....

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