Thursday, 22 May 2014

Check and Log: Self Portrait

Which drawing materials produced the best results? Why?

The gouache produced good results because of the mode in which it was used i.e three brushes and three colours of different tonal values starting with a large decorators paintbrush. This resulted in bold shapes and lines and discouraged overworking. I produced a lively drawing using this which I like very much but it wasn't the use accurate of the best likeness.

For likeness and accuracy, charcoal produced the best results. The reason for this was that it is very versatile and can be added and subtracted multiple times (within reason). By using a putty rubber in some areas and adding darker areas in others I could keep adjusting my drawing until it was accurate.

Does your self portrait look like you? Show it to a couple of friends or family members and note down their comments.

I posted my favourite gouache self portrait on my Facebook page but didn't mention that it was a self portrait. There were a couple of comments about how miserable the model looked such as "she looks how I feel!" but no-one really picked up on it being me. My husband was vehement in saying it didn't look like me and that it looked miserable - so I guess it was effective in communicating emotion but not likeness - but I'll settle for that at this stage.

The final charcoal self portrait was a better likeness. My husband and son both said that it looked like me as did a friend at work. My husband was still concerned that I looked miserable. My explanation is that I tend to frown when concentrating, also trying to hold a smile while drawing without looking like a rictus grin would be virtually impossible so my face is relaxed (and my relaxed face tends to look a bit grim).

Did you find it easy to convert your sketches into a portrait?

I did a lot of preliminary sketches but I wouldn't say I converted any of these sketches into a portrait. I used the sketching process to explore my face from different angles and to try to pare the features down to the basics, By making mistakes in the sketches it helped me to lear what to avoid in the final drawings (for example elongating the chin or exaggerating the size of the eyes.

Were your preliminary drawings adequate?

Yes, I think I did sufficient preliminary sketches to be really quite familiar with my own face by the time I came to draw a larger portrait. Despite this, my attempt with intense and coloured pencils was not very accurate. 

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