Self-Portrait in Pencil

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  • #559256
    JanJan
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    The past few months I’ve been working through the Head Drawing for Beginners Course. Since I’ve been drawing primarily from photographs, I decided to use a selfie as the reference for my self-portrait. I’m satisfied with the likeness but I know I need to keep trying to push the basic structural elements. My next attempt will be to draw while looking in a mirror which should force me to focus less on the details. Jan Self Portrait

    #559762
    Matthew HaverlyMatthew Haverly
    Participant
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    Wow nice job!

    #559847
    Matthew HaverlyMatthew Haverly
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    I took that course as well – and the advanced one – and the figure one.  Its been really good.  I’ve tried about 40 portraits over that time – in pencil, charcoal, and digital mediums – also fountain pen and even ball point pen.  I’ve benefited from those courses tremendously.  Still trying to incorporate a better sense of some of the concepts like you mentioned.  One of the things I just love is watching him draw – I feel like I learn so much just watching how he draws.  I’ve gone and rewatched many of his demonstrations.  I never drew with ball point pen prior to his course but seeing him do it so much, I started doing warm ups every day with ball point pen, and I notice those sketches are getting better and better.

    #561829
    JanJan
    Participant
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    Thank you for the encouraging comment! I agree with you that the courses are outstanding. I find myself mesmerized watching the instructors draw. I’ve learned so much by observing not only their techniques but how they make decisions. I’ll have to try the pen warm-ups since you said they’ve been valuable.

    #589582
    JanJan
    Participant
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    I’m not sure if this looks much different than the first self-portrait I posted, but I can tell that I’m starting to think differently. I’m trying to focus on the concepts I’m learning in the NMA videos, but old habits (like outlining) have been hard to break. I don’t have the opportunity right now to draw from life so I’ve been using photographs. I had planned to draw a self-portrait while looking in the mirror, so that will be next.Jan Self-Portrait

    #589784
    Jean CarlosJean Carlos
    Participant
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    Great portraits Jan! Those courses really help to grow fast. You’ll see improvements in no time, even in that second drawing we can see that the values were pushed a little bit more.

    One thing I would pay special attention to is the distance between the eyes. They are usually one eye-width apart from each other. One thing that can help with that is that the sides of the nostrils line up with the tear ducts. Hope that helps and keep at it!

    #590599
    JanJan
    Participant
    No points.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I’ve been working diligently through the courses to improve my understanding of structure and anatomy. I’m trying to pay more attention to developing a full range of value, too, so it’s helpful to know that’s evident in the second drawing. In terms of proportion, I start out using the formula for a standard head, and then I try to adjust according to the individual characteristics. I realized when drawing my self-portrait that my face is definitely not standard, which you noticed! My eyes actually are too close together and my nostrils are wider. If it looks incorrect, though, maybe I need to deemphasize some of the individual variations in future drawings. Again, I really appreciate your input!

    #590748
    JessicaJessica
    Participant
    No points.

    I love both portraits!  The smile in the first really captures your spirit.  As you commented, you can definitely see a difference in the two….almost like the second drawing is becoming more mature.  Doing great!

    #987393
    JanJan
    Participant
    No points.

    This was my submission for the November Self-Portrait Challenge. Drawing while looking in a mirror was much more difficult than I had expected. The recommendation was to first construct the head based on the angle and then refer to the mirror for specifics. I think I was able to get the structure accurate, and then I adjusted to get a somewhat decent likeness. I’m not crazy about this particular portrait, but it was a great learning experience. The YouTube critique session by the judges of the winning pieces was excellent and very informative, and I’m definitely inspired by the many incredible entries!SelfPortraitChallengeFinal

    #988200
    Raven KushnerRaven Kushner
    Participant
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    Awesome, Jan! I really love the smiling one above better because it feels more alive, relaxed, and “flowy,” and I can really feel the texture of the hair, and the rhythm of the pencil strokes working with the facial structure. Both are quite good, but the serious one feels a little more stiff, studied, and “worked,” even the background. The hair is really good in both of them!

    Yes, the critique session was very interesting. They definitely need a podcast! I had picked out different submissions as the probable winners, so I was surprised at most of their pics. But it was great fun hearing them talk about it.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by Raven KushnerRaven Kushner.
    #988684
    TimTim
    Participant
    No badges. No points.

    Hi Jan

    What a lovely set of portraits ,what I like most in all three is that there is a person looking out at the viewer  comunicating  ,this is the most important thing and many portraits lack this “reality ” your really there in these portraits ,I have very little critique  am afraid,and  I like them all equally they capture different subtle moods and moments  these portraits are enigmatic and convey a great sense of the sitter

    The drawing technique is understated ,supports the subject and has grace and lightness

    This is the the first of your work I’ve seen that’s not a strict part of learning

    I know we are all self critical and even the finest masters can allways improve

    But genuinely in many ways these portraits are perfect

    Kind regards

    Tim

     

    #989405
    JanJan
    Participant
    No points.

    Thank you, Raven and Tim, for taking the time to offer feedback! I greatly value both of your opinions! I think my apprehension about putting this last self-portrait out there to be judged against so much talent totally intimidated me. I did not enjoy drawing it, but I learned so much being pushed way out of my comfort zone.

    I totally agree, Raven, that the last self-portrait was stiff, studied, and definitely “worked”! That’s how I felt while drawing it haha. I’m embarrassed to say how long I actually labored over it! I had just purchased Burne Hogarth’s book Drawing the Human Head, and I know I was influenced by his style when I was drawing, but I think my own “style” is a little freer than that. Thank you for the positive comments about the hair. I love drawing hair and had just completed Steve Huston’s course right before starting the self-portrait challenge.

    Tim, I love that you mentioned grace and lightness. I never would have thought to use those words about my own work, but it is something I definitely aspire to achieve. You have been so kind to comment about many of my studies, which I so appreciate. I have never posted any of my old work from many years ago, but maybe I will one of these days. I do have one other recent drawing that was not course related posted on this forum. It was done before I started the Russian Academic courses, but it surprisingly turned out how I initially visualized it, so I am pleased with it. Plus, I love the subject. If you want to see it, click on my name and then on Topics Started. It’s the Pencil Portrait of My Son toward the bottom of the list. Again, thank you for your kind words.

    Also, I found the discussion in the critique session about using photographs vs. drawing from life very interesting and apropos. Iliya’s comment that drawing from older photographs that are less detailed produces better results from using current photographs was really fascinating. I tend to use too much detail when I’m using photographic references when I need to simplify instead. I’m excited to start on another portrait using what I learned from this experience.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by JanJan.
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

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