A few days ago a book I'd ordered arrived in the post.
The book was a 10 day course on how to draw portraits.
Now, you've seen me draw portraits before, so why would I want this book?
Because when I draw, I meticulously measure each feature to make sure they are correct. Its time consuming and painstaking.
I wanted to draw freely and for it to be fun.
So I started the exercises in this book - and against the author's instructions I did all the 10 days in one day, doing each exercise only a couple of times and using pen not pencil.
I did that because I wanted to fly through the exercises to see if the whole method was one that would work for me - and if I used pen, then I would not be so meticulous. I'm used to sketching in a scribbly fashion, so that's what I did here.
"Cutting Away" to get the outline of the Face
Placement of features by judgement - connecting lines show how I made the judgement.
Now, having done all the exercises, I've found that I can get a reasonable likeness when in total all I've spent on these scribbles is a couple of hours.
So, the instruction works for me!
I did another quick portrait, which for artistic effect, I have only detailed the darker side of the face. Once, on my City and Guilds Watercolour course, we were shown some paintings in which only one side was detailed. They looked more powerful than the fully worked up versions. So does this portrait, to my eye.
So there you are - no measuring, no artificial aids, just me, a pen, a piece of paper.
I'm so impressed with this book, I am going to go back to the beginning and do all the exercises and repetitions in pencil - just as the artist intended.
At the end of the ten days I have every confidence that I'll be producing freehand portraits that are full of character - and fun for me to do!
The book "Why Measure" can be found on Amazon HERE .