Sunday, 18 November 2012

Drawing Portraits

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.



Finished portrait


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 .





24 comments:

  1. My Goodness Pat, you did fantastic.
    I've learned so much ( everything) from books, and still learning, thanks for the sharing of this,, I may look into it. as I do the same thing with portraits.. very time consuming. BJ

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  2. Great sketches Pat! I have never attempted a portrait and admire those of you who do!

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  3. Hi Pat
    I came by this morning and left a comment but don't see it here.. Must be floating around blogland.

    This is a book I would love to pick up.. I spend so long on my portraits, this might help.
    Your portraits are excellent!
    Thank you so much for your visit and kind words..
    Wishing you a beautiful day.
    fondly,
    Penny

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  4. Jane has left a new comment on your post "Drawing Portraits":

    You did wonderfully...a very skilled student :-)

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  5. Your portraits look great. That book was well worth the investment since it helped you improve your skills

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  6. Very good! Reminds me that facial recognition software measures the distance between features... is that one of the techniques you are mastering?

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  7. Wow, Pat! I'm impressed! Portraits (at least to me) are very difficult! Well done!

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  8. Fabulous work! freehand is the only fun way :)

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  9. Great exercises, Pat! Seems a wonderful book!

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  10. Wow - it sounds like a great book! And clearly it is working for you - Great portraits! :)

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  11. Wow Pat - this sounds like a book for me. I have done a few sketches of faces but have never thought they were acceptable to show. May have to check this book out. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Wow! Your drawings are a testimonial to the effectiveness of that instruction book! They should put your work in the book for hte example! Great job!

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  13. Oh Bravo Pat! Your first efforts look fabulous! very well done!
    My little man is going in tomorrow for his op so I shall fell like a jelly all day! xx

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  14. Oh Bravo Pat! Your first efforts look fabulous! very well done!
    My little man is going in tomorrow for his op so I shall fell like a jelly all day! xx

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  15. Thank you so much Pat for your kind words and your most welcome visit.
    Blessings,
    Penny

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  16. Gracias por esta excelente lección sobre dibujo de retrato, es muy interesante.
    ¡Muy bueno el retrato! xx

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  17. What a great portrait Pat. I must look into that book ... it sounds very interesting.

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  18. Great post and drawings Pat. Thanks for the tip. I'm never confident with portraits, mainly because I'm too lazy to be so this book sounds right up my street.

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  19. Ciao Pat,
    quando si inizia con i ritratti è così...poi, pian piano, si impara a "vedere" sempre di più ...
    In questi due ritratti sei proprio a buon punto!
    Viao, abbracci, Floriana

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  20. Pat, i'm sorry to have stayed away for so long! Your blog is fabulous and i always enjoy the tips and techniques you share. This book sounds so amazing! I too go through all the painstaking grids and measurements to get it "right". Cannot wait to give this a try. Thanks too for visiting the other day. It has been so long since i painted and posted i was not sure it would ever happen again! So glad you liked my "Looe" painting. I loved the name and used it even though the painting is so very loosely based on this lovely English village. Now, i must go and order one of these books. Happy painting! Cheers!

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  21. Be forgive me for failing to leave this notification much earlier. For I usually leave them immediately after the edition is up, but I just plain forgot to do so this time. Anyway, "Pat Elliott Paintings" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week, and I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-sunday-drive_25.html

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  22. daniel is a great artist and paints such expressive portraits , ...lovely right up pat ... i'd love to read his book.

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  23. Pat, remember sometime ago I told you about drawing with the right side of the brain? This post tells everything. When you mesure every feature, as you used to do, you were drawing with the left side of the brain. It's boring! Now this book teaches how to make a portrait using the right side of the brain. No mesures, no boring, and your result is great, I can see! Congrats!xx

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