Sunday, November 23, 2008

Achieving a likeness

Update - portrait
coloured pencil 9 x 12


I'm still fighting with portraits and hope by the end of today I will be done with these. either that or I will take a break from them. Sometimes too much working and looking at a piece just makes it worse instead of better.

I'm not completely happy with this current portrait as I feel the face shape isn't quite right, not giving a good likeness. The colours are fine and the shading's working but there's that niggling that I could get a better likeness. I'll wait and see what my current victim says and adjust or go forward from there. Or worse comes to worse, add it to the 'never to be seen again' drawer and start over!

I rarely work with a grid, so all my drawings are freehand. I sometimes mark out features within a grid for placement then draw freehand from there if I really want a good likeness. Of course, I didn't do that with this piece and now am regretting it.

There are two schools of thought regarding portraits. Those who want an exact likeness from life or reference and those who want a broader version that captures the 'essence' of the sitter. Both should be recognizable as the individual, no matter which method is used.

In the move to my new studio, I keep 're-finding' pieces that I did. Some are pieces that I wasn't keen on so put them away to perhaps work on another time. Its time to go through these and see if I want to rework or do over. There are many projects spinning round in my head and never enough hours to work on them.

3 comments:

Anita said...

I think we should put in a request for extra hours in the day! I like this portrait but I know what you mean about having niggling feelings about something not being quite right - I feel that a bit about my last portrait but having left it alone a couple of days I now think I know what is wrong. Maybe all you need is some space from it.

Jo Castillo said...

This looks great from my point of view. :)

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Jeanette - your portfolio of work on portraits on your blog has been nominated for my new competition for the Making A Mark Award for "The Special Mention" for the best portrait portfolio by a female artist on a blog in 2008.

Shortlist from the nominated portfolios to be published 24th December

Is it OK for me to publish an image on my blog should I decide you win the portfolio "Special mention"?

You need to go here to see who nominated you!