Small faces

IMG_0707

Trying to find a standard size to practice these oil on canvass board portraits.

This is 5×7″ and I think its too small, just the size of the canvas weave looks huge.

I am going to try 8×10″ next for head and shoulders like this one. That will make the head about 5″. This one is about 3″.

 

Fast lines

8-23-16 Orig 1

Venetian Red and White Pastel on Toned Canson Paper 9×12″

Fast lines or plane lines. These lines which escape the subject and go into the ground of the drawing do some interesting work for you.

I didn’t invent this technique, but I was not taught it either. I observed it in auto concept drawings. It seemed like it was a way to accentuate a gentle curve and also to establish a plane in a 2-D rendering. They work well in instances like this model’s hat, to help suggest it is foreshortened, round and flat. It also helps establish that the lines on a given curved surface represent an edge of an object.

Pastel Portrait stages

Pastel color is pretty new to me. I dont know the technique to apply to these materials.

So Here is what I learned last night. I used a new sketch book with fairly cheap thin paper, maybe 150 gm with enough tooth to hold the pencil adequately but thats about it. I liad the drawing in on the first pose in 30 min. I should have not done so much shading with the soft 5B pencil because graphite is slick and other media will not stick to it. 1st mistake.

I had the soft pastels already laid out in the box as a pallate roughly divided in 2 rows by warm and cool. so I started in on the flesh tones and immediately knew it was going to take the next 1.5 hours of the session just to get enough marks on the paper. I dont like to blend (or rather, I dont know how to do it without turning the color muddy). I had a hard time making the chalk stick to the areas where the graphite was too heavy. I had to borrow some conte crayons in black and red to go back into the outlines and with something that would stick.

I took it home and scanned it. Then bumped up the contrast in PS just enough for the white to stay white and the black and brown area at the bottom of the hair to blend together. Then I took a few of my favorite PS brushes and spent the next hour tightening and highlighting eyes nose and lips.Then blending just enough on the flesh for it to still have drawing marks.The background wall I just filled with a big brush leaving the original colors. I didn’t need the marks there to tell the story.

paint over pastels

Draw 12-22-2013 2

 

What I am shooting for is a look like the figure is emerging from shadow, as if emerging from tannic swamp water.  No meaning just academic figure work rising from the depth.

This latest test is from a Sunday session with Rembrandt chalk pastels and conte black on toned Canson paper. Then in photoshop painting an oily wet brushy over the highlights and then burn tool the shadows about 70% opacity. I’m pretty happy with the results. I want to get a system going with real paint soon.

Blockhead

11-17-2013Erin-headszd

The construction of a head or body begins with basic block build-up, then establishment a combination of enclosed shapes within those blocks as planes of light and planes of shadow. Then I find the edge of the shapes but I don’t feel the necessity to refine or even stay within these edges. I just need to know where they are.

Nothing more. I don’t try to draw an eye or a nose.