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  1. #1
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    Live Portrait Drawing, looking for critique

    This piece was done in a 20 minute time frame at my local live drawing sessions using charcoal pencils. I have been studying anatomy and have been focusing on portraits before I start on the rest of the body. Is there any glaring mistakes or issues that you would recommend I work on? Note, the greenish area on the bridge of her nose was the result of someone accidentally dropping their pastel on mine while I had it on the floor and was working on another piece. I tried to get rid of it but the faint tinge of green did not go away, I also ran out of time before I could do the hair..
    Name:  live_drawing_portrait_22_9_18_no1_by_spookyboiart-dcng704.jpg
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  3. #2
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    Your drawings will improve if you focus on improving your values / contrast. Right now the skin a very uniform grey. The contours you did capture look more like scribbling than believable shadows, especially around the neck. To me the drawing looks rushed; 20 minutes might not seem like much, but if you took your time a bit more you'll probably end up with something better.

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  5. #3
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    Dear Mattyt,

    Thank you so much for the critique, and I took some time in making corrections in the art piece. You're right about the values and the contrast, it does make the face seem flat, so what I did was bring in the darker tones in the areas where the face would be in shadow and took an eraser to bring out the lighter tones. I attempted to use pastel but it didn't work. I also attempted to get rid of the rushed scribble style by blending the charcoal and erasing lines that stood out too much. Here is the result of my corrections. From now on, after I do the 20 minute drawing sessions I will work on them when I get home so that they look better.
    Name:  Live Drawing 2.0.jpg
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  6. #4
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    Try to practice more, the way of shade some basic forms, a cylinder, a sphere, stuff like that, also try to make separately the structure of the nose, the eyes, mouth, and then you shade it with pencils or charcoals, you can practice also on a toned paper and for the brighter areas you can use white chalk. Some artists use a pencil with a sharp and long tip, try to find how to make shadows with this tool, it's better.

    Check tutorials like this, also some drawings books

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BfuwLl5HcA

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  8. #5
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    The shape of the skull looks flat to me. The cranium would come out farther behind the ear, and the nose and mouth would protrude more than you have them. I would recommend drawing a skull from the side in the same manner. Trust me, this helps sooo much as you see the boney landscapes that are most important in getting the anatomy to feel most natural.

  9. #6
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    I'm glad, it looks better already but it still needs work. This isn't the kind of drawing I'd slave over to fix up though; to my understanding it was a class exercise? It's good to see where you went right/wrong, but chalk it up as practice. Pay more attention to the form/cast-shadows of your subject next time.

  10. #7
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    Arranging your values isn't just about making shadows dark and everywhere else some level of light or half-tone. Good value arrangement will add depth, and draw focus to wherever you wish us to look. Where do you want people to look when they see this? Most likely the eye. That's what we'll naturally be drawn to. So technically, you don't have to use as much contrast in that area IF you don't want it pulling attention too strongly.

    I've edited the values in your work to illustrate my point. I've made 3 places to look just as a demonstration of how this works.

    Name:  Live-Drawing-2.0.jpg
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    1.Eye (main focal point) 2. edge of lower neck/ shoulder 3.a spot in the Hair (you can have more than one focal point once you get a little more advanced, but they should all be of lesser contrast to the main focal point and each successive focal point should be in submission to each preceding focal point.) So if your focal point has black and white touching, then nowhere else in your image should that happen. Use half-tones (so to speak) to make the rest of your image contrast with the focal point. You can't copy your reference like a slave to get this effect though. This is where we as artists begin to separate ourselves from doing the work of cameras.
    Sketchbook

    Bucket List: Finish reading those books, Get a fish, Astral Project, Eat responsibly, exercise more often, save money, squint, poke at young people with a cane, talk about good old days, sputter and wheeze, hack and cough, adjust dentures

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