Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How Portrait Photography Helps My Drawing

The scariest assignment so far in the faces class I'm taking has been this one because we're supposed to draw realistic faces. Which means there's a high degree of opportunity to fail. I'm pretty happy with these two portraits. Are they perfect? No. But, if you asked me last week if you thought I could draw anything this good, I would have said, "Heck no!" So, I'm pleased with my efforts.  The portrait on the left is based on my mother-in-law's bridal portrait.  The one on the right is based on this photographic portrait I took of a local activist:
It's my favorite of the two. I think that having spent time on improving my portrait photography is helping my attempts to draw faces. When photographing portraits, the key is to find enough light to have catchlights in the eyes and to have a natural expression.  I think the same thing is true in drawn faces.  I try to put "catchlights" in the eyes, and I have found that using a model with a good expression really helps me draw a more expressive face. 
It's a happy coincidence that my efforts to improve in one art form have delivered dividends in another one. Has this every happened to you?


alexa said...

Not yet, but I live in hope. :) Your portraiture is coming on apace - very inspiring!

scrappyjacky said...

I'm very impressed with how your faces are coming along,Rinda.....the second one is my favourite too.

Mary B said...

I love your second portrait it is very nearly there well done indeed

Sian said...

My uncle is a portrait painter. He takes photos of family and then we get to see the portraits turning up in gallery windows around town!

You are inspiring me too - I love to see the results of your diligence

Gloria said...

Hi Rinda. Oooh, I like what you are doing and thanks for the hint about having enough catchlights in the eyes. You are doing wonderful. Your work is definitely blossoming. Congratulations on your pieces. They are both very good. Have a wonderful day.

Carrie Rosalind said...

Oh Rinda, I have SO loved seeing your faces! You are definitely a very talented artist.

I might have missed it, but is this Faces class you're taking online? I'd love to join in if it is!