And as for my portrait of the boys, you can see for yourself. I clearly didn't get the likeness of the littlest that I did for the others. I'm irritated about that and soured on the whole thing, so I just gave it a quick finish and have decided to move on.
Here's a review of what I learned:
- A 5B pencil was too dark and soft for this, I didn't have the control over it that I wanted. I kept finding myself wanting to lift out darkness.
- Doing the three faces separately first was a bad idea. I had trouble combining the top two believably (although I think I eventually succeeded) and I later realized that I had to move the third's position - which made the light patterns all wrong. I just glossed over that in my planning, but I shouldn't have.
- The hair falling on the face came out better than usual, but everything behind that is awkward. (I suspect this is largely because I was too ready to be done by the time I faced it.)
- I need to think more about how eyebrows and lips function, so they don't look so pasted on.
- Two out of three likenesses is an improvement on my percentage.
- Doing "washes" or layering the pencil marks was more effective for me than usual.
- Portraits will always be my first love and I have hope that I will improve.
- Doing portraits of people so close to your own heart is a risky venture. And, for this portrait, it worked out OK for me.