Monday, June 09, 2008

Ethnic diversity

Fabric seller
Graphite 9 x 12
copyright Jeanette Jobson

The horrible bug that got me over the weekend lifted, of course, by Monday morning so I could go to work. Why do I only get sick on weekends or when I go on holiday?

Feeling so awful all weekend, I didn't accomplish much of anything in terms of drawing, but I found this sketch done a few weeks ago of a fabric stall seller. The hands look rather small, but in fact they are in reality, suprisingly small. Oriental people can be very petite sometimes and have such refined features.

I'm often asked how to draw a specific ethnic population, as beginners tend to concentrate on skin tone to define ethnicity. While skin tone does play a part in defining a person's ethnic background, I find it is facial structure that is the determinant of ethnic origin. So back to drawing and exact placement of features that is the key to creating any individual, no matter what their origin. All faces, no matter what their ethnicity, possess the same features and these are more or less standardized. That meaning they have similar structure physiologically, but the flesh around those features and the bone structure vary to define the individual face.

Observational skills are critical to achieve a likeness with any individual and cannot be emphasized enough. Take time to observe, measure and practice drawing people from different backgrounds.


Robyn said...

Beautiful confident structure you have in this drawing, Jeanette. I love the composition and the drape of her clothes.

Glad to hear you are over the worst of your cold.

Jeanette said...

I love line drawings Robyn. They appeal to me so much and I love how they can convey form with just a line.