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Thread: First portrait

  1. #1
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    First portrait

    Hi! So I've recently started to watch Proko's course on drawing portraits, I consider this to be the beginning of my "journey" to become an artist, and this is my first attempt after going through the features individually. Quite frustrating to be honest, yet I hope to become better soon. I'm posting this here in hope of getting some feedback, because although I know that a lot of things are off, I can't tell exatly what. Thanks for the help.

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  3. #2
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    because although I know that a lot of things are off, I can't tell exatly what
    Really? If you put both side by side in Paint.NET you can't see the main issues, or attempted to overlay one on the other? Hmm. *shrug*

    The bigg issue - planes. The face has planes. You have zero of those for the cheeks, nose, head, etc.


    The next issue you stretched out the face significantly. The nose is too long. This threw off the orientation of the eyes, the mouth, and shape of her dome.
    My commentary is a gift to you.

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  5. #3
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    I will start overlaying in a program from now onwards to spot proportion problems.

    About the planes, how can you recommend practicing them? Do I just try to memorize them and apply them in every portrait, or should I start to make some kind of iterative practice with the construction and the planes of every feature so it becomes second nature later? Should I keep doing portraits without feeling fully comfortable with the construction and the planes, even knowing that I will fail? Or should I practice and wait more time before actually trying again?

    And about the stretched out face... I assume that eventually I'll become better at observing and measuring by drawing and drawing incessantly(?)

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    I guess one way would be just to keep practising a lot of portraits.

    You can also try practising on these kind of figures to get a better hold of how the planes work and interact.

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    Is this a sketchbook? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  8. #5
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    Thanks to both of you for the help! I guess I have to practice the planes indidivually now.

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    Wow, I'm surprised you didn't just stop drawing all together after the very snarky response from modi123.

    First off, good for you for jumping into portraiture, but keep in mind it's tougher than most subjects. The face is the most personal aspect of the person and as an artist we tend to worry about getting that more correct than most of the rest of the body. I recommend you backtrack a bit before putting all your hopes into a single final drawing. Learn the forms and shapes that make the head, there are lots of books and tutorials on that. Practice with simple sketches and try different simple lines and forms, until you get used to "feeling" the object as a 3D form. Lots of opportunities to both fail and succeed, and you learn faster by doing this. If you go full on with a finished pic (as you posted) then you risk a "Big fail" in your mind with out the necessary "wins". Sketch light an loose, sculpt the form, then begin using features and shading to build upon your well-sketched shapes. There is no substitute for practice, so hang in there.

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    If you're willing to spend a bit of time and money, one of the biggest helps I've had with the human figure is enrolling in a human anatomy atelier. One where you work from a live model 6 hours a day, two days a week or something like that, and where there is an instructor guiding you along the way. The one I took was a 6 month program at Gage in Seattle, and the instructor taught us to find the shapes and structures behind the model's skin (it was so frustrating!). After that course I can now look at a live model and simplify it into shapes and "understand" it rather than copy it. I think any figure reference, whether live or from photo, should be a guide to something you already understand. Like what the rest of these commenters are saying.

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    Haha, why would I stop? There will be a lot of snarky responses if I want to achieve what I want. And thank you so much for the advice, I think I now have a better idea of what I should do, can you recommend me some good books on the subject please (apart from Loomis, which I am already reading)? And one other thing, I want to jump into anatomy and human figure next, do you think it is a good idea to do it side by side with portraiture so I can feel more comfortable with the human form in general? Or should I wait until I feel comfortable with the head and then start with the rest of the body step by step?

    And hollyheaton, thanks but sadly there isn't any where I live, you don't know how much I'd love enrolling in an attelier. I know that drawing from photos requires much more understanding of the subject because the form is already flattened, but I think I will have to stick to that until I can get out of here xD

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    Yes, full figure and gesture drawing at the same time as the more specific head and hands and feet.

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  16. #10
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    Good attempt, keep at it. Don't worry about getting good so fast. This is going to take a lot of time, correct practice, and studying. As important as features are they are nothing without correct placement of these individual features.

    1. Work big to small. I first checked the height to width ratio (red line) they were in the ball park/accurate.
    2. Next I checked your thirds (blue line). Your eye line was off. If you look at the distance between her hairline to her eyebrow its a lot bigger then what you have.
    3. Don't worry about details at your studying stage yet and practice laying in heads and getting these measurements more accurate. I recommend studying the Frank Rileys rhythms for portraiture (left hand side).

    Notes. 1)Work big to small and simplify. 2) Break the face down into simple shapes and measure (watch proko's video on measuring). 3) Check spacial relationships (example: distance between eyebrow to hairline, tip of the nose to eye, almost anything you can find). Don't get caught up in drawing perfect portraits at this learning stage you need to do a lot of wire frame/lay-in practice. 4) go to https://line-of-action.com/practice-...sion-practice/ and set the timer to 2-5 minutes. You can go through these drawing steps in this order if you want. Draw a circle for the cranial mass, add jaw, check the height to width to unsure this part works, if it does then move on to drawing the centerline of the face, then placement of the thirds (checking your measurement) Depending on the head tilt the thirds can be off a bit. 5) Keep posting.

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    Good luck!

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  18. #11
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    I will study the figure at the same time then.

    And GoofAtronDon, thank you so much for all that info and the links, having more concrete tasks to do really motivates me to keep going. I will keep posting since the community here is really helpful and I am excited to form part of it.

    Thank you to both of you for your helpful replies.

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