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I know it needs work. My hair is really hard to draw, it's red and very curly, and I got kind of lazy with the shading by the time I got to the bottom there (the ADD kicked in ) and I think it's a bit lopsided and my nose is too long and the whole face is too long in general, but technically, it's maybe getting somewhere? I dunno.
Just very quick, you are neglecting the shapes. Also, there is no such thing as shading. Think of 'shading' as modeling. When you render your cheeks, you are not only laying down value, you are descibing the form. Your cheeks looks flat becouse that's how you describe them.
It looks like you went straight to the features and added what you assumed the outline looks like, and that reinforces the flatness of the drawing. You have to take every aspects of the head into account when you learn how to draw them; the scull, the muscles, the proportion and it's mass.
Download theese and read them. Loomis is a great teacher and his texts are quite encouraging. His drawings might seem simple and effortless, but it takes many attempts to soak it all up. Stay away from straight copying, thoug.
So, there you have it. I hope i'm not sounding too cocky, I'm quite the beginner myself. I don't think it's nessecary to dwell too long on the portrait you posted here. It's a nice start and you are definately going somewhere. Keep at it, enjoy the progress and you'll improve.
Thank you, that's some very good crits, and I appreciate the resources. Always had problems with the flatness. I'll read the books, with any luck it'll help. I know it's not great, but it's progress, and that's what's important.
For a portrait to achieve good likeness, accurate values in shading is essential. You probably have skimmed over that aspect in the current piece.
Less "skimmed over" and more "not sure how". What would you suggest I do to improve this? What am I doing right?
Thank you, I appreciate that, it's bookmarked and I'll get started. I'll be attending a free portrait drawing class soon, first time on Tuesday, I'll see how it goes, I'm looking forward to it. This page will give me something to work on until then.
Would love to hear your assessment on what you have gained from the free class. Must be a truly benevolent organization to offer the event. No worry if its not too encouraging though, as there are plenty of good instructions available on the web and from various artist forums.