View Full Version : techniques for better protraits??
September 4th, 2002, 07:37 PM
Hey guys, in new to the forums, just joined today, but ive been looking around for a while and i am constantly blown away at the amount of talent here! hopefully you guys can help me.:)
i just started drawing portraits in perspective, im a bit shaky at them, but im managing... i wanted to ask if there are certain excersizes i can do to improve on the perspective and total quality of my drawings.
i was reading a post earlier where somone said that you should draw the shapes of your face to get better... i really dont understand this...if someone can elaborate id really appreciate
oh and can someone explain tecniques on starting a drawing? do you guys start out with guides, draw a sphere (like in the loomis books) or just start wherever you feel like.
you huys can check out some of my drawing at my website :)
September 4th, 2002, 10:42 PM
If i were you I would start by doing master copies...thats how artists have traditionally learned to do it...copy heads by rembrandt, sargent, michealangelo, leonardo, raphael,
do studies of old master drawings in particular...dont copy the paintings to start...go get a good book of old master drawings and copy every single one of them in there if you can...hahah..well at least as many as you can possibly do. Ive done at least a hundred master copies or more of drawings and such...
the copies should look as close as possible to the originals.
if you do this...then you can see how they make marks...make forms...make shapes.....make SPACE...make expression...etc...
then you should start drawing heads from life...the only real way to draw heads is from life...that is where the truths about head drawing are...not in others..but in that which you see with your own eyes. draw your friends..your relatives...draw the people at the bus stop...the restaurant. it takes a lot of this kind of thing to get great at head drawing.
a good book to get started as well...though its not my style..it is great in that it covers the basics...burne hogarths dynamic heads...get that.
but you will find answers in the old masters works...and in life.
perhaps this is not the answer you seek...but it is the path to success...same path was taken by thousands of artists in art history....Im sure others exhist...but perhaps someone talented here can provide you with some specific input.
September 4th, 2002, 10:49 PM
don't listen to him. he doesn't know what he's talking about.
HA HA HA HA Just kidding. in case you don't know that's one of the best people to take advice from....so do what he says. you can always just slap a mirror in front of you and go at it also.
September 5th, 2002, 09:47 PM
hehe:) thanks for the replies.
@Jason: that idea of compying master drawings never crossed my mind...i actually thought that was kindafrowned upon...ha looks like im wrong. but if it has good result than im definetly giving it a try.
......i think it was about 5 years ago..( i was about 12 at the time) and i remember seeing a girl in the art museam sitting on the floor drawing one of the painitngs...and i was looking at her like she was crazy... but now i understand!....heheh...anyway
would you please clarify on cyopying...do you men trace or should i look at the picture and draw it?
i also have another question...is there a certain "correct" way of starting a portrait ie. gudes..outline...draw eyes first..draw a sphere...???
oh an school just started so im not gonna hve the greatest amount of time to draw..i got 2 adv. placement classes which are gonna kill me and take up alllllllll my time :)
September 5th, 2002, 10:24 PM
Edit: oops I think this one was supposed to go in another thread... Im so lame... :emb:
I've always been drawing, but I haven't been doing much studies until just recently (last two years or so). I'm surprised everytime that I hear that someone started painting/drawing after they turned 20. I've always thought you had to start while 'in the cradle'. Before I started making studies I focused mainly on design. I've got thousands of sheets with thumbnails of robots, critters and stuff, but I was too 'introvert' and kept repeating my errors over and over because of lack of influence.
I started using digital tools after y2k, and I think it's a good idea to make studies with photoshop and a wacom, since natural media (acrylics/oils) is slow to work with and has restrictions when it comes to the color palette. I'm not saying that digital media is better, just that it gets in your way less when you do color studies, and since it's faster to work with you can do more studies too. It's more cumbersome to use natural media but my best paintings are made with acrylics or watercolor. I don't think I'll ever abandon natural media. Paper and pencil is still my most intous drawingtool, despite the name of my wacom tablet, and of course you can't carry the computer around when you do life studies. So far I've only done simple copies of photos on the computer, but like I said, it have helped me a lot, even tho it won't take me all the way alone. I've also done a lot of fast pencil copies of heads, hands, poses, eyes etc. Next step for me is to get out and do real studies from life (using watercolor).
Anyhow, the last years of studies have been rewarding, even tho I haven't been as diligent as Mr. Manley here, nor have I had the opportunity to study under a master.
September 8th, 2002, 04:14 PM
:) no prob Prometheus, although it was intresting.
well here is my first attempt at the mona lisa....i think its been about 3years since i did a full portrait from a reference. the thing i found most difficult was the placement of the eyes nose and mouth...the rest was simple. will it get easier after a while, or is it always thid guess and check business. all in all it took about 3 hours to do...i assume this is waaaaay to long, but please comment and critique. i dont think i will be making any chages, but i will learn from my mistakes :)