posted on December 4, 2007 at 7:30 am

been painting some portraits
tricky business
the angles
the planes
the ratios
the shadows
the proportions
faces defy all rules you thought you knew about faces
sometimes you can get it horribly wrong
and it still kinda looks like the subject
othertimes one small thing you cant figure out
and the face looks ridiculous
i’m doing a straightforward face but its hard to get it right
then after days of mucking about
it looks alright in pencil
but when the colour goes in
its gone all wrong
luckily pastel is a very forgiving medium
edges can get moved if they have to
but beware
you make the eyes a little bigger
suddenly the nose is too small
then the cheekbones have lost their reference point
and the mouth is too close
and the chin too far away
the slightest change is a ripple
that flows through the entire painting
trying to figure out what colour a shadow really is
trying to be artistic and realistic
trying to flatter the subject
emphasise the good points
portray the bad because you must
but tone it down
teeth are hard to get right
eyes are obviously important
and a slightly wrong shaped eye can ruin it
noses are surprisingly often shorter than they appear
sometimes your staring at a feature
but you just refuse to draw it the way it is
sometimes i just go into a geometric mode
wherein i see the face as a series of related shapes
it can be frustrating and rewarding
my next portrait will be david mccomb for a planned book
this one i can really go to town on
and im looking forward to it
thats it for today

46 Responses to “a poor trait”

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