I have really struggled with portrait drawing and have spend the last couple of weeks trying to work though my issues as well as working on my second OCA course – print making one. My main issue is around trying to create depth to my portraits as they seem very flat. I am aware that I have many technical issues with my drawing that I am unhappy with which I feel is holding me back. I have also struggled with capturing facial features accurately- especially eyes and noses. These are all concerns that I need to deal with – when I chose my final project I nearly chose to look at landscape but I felt that I wanted to challenge myself so I decided to look at figure drawing ( which I have less issues with ) and portraits ( which i struggle with). I knew it would be for me , a massive challenge but I decided that I needed to push myself , as I really want to achieve something from the course. I started with self portraits which i really felt unhappy with and decided to take my tutors advise and switch instead to using a model and playing with using light to highlight the tonal planes of the face. I have experimented with poses in my sketchbook also suggested by my tutor. I am beginning to develop some mark making drawing techniques. I really enjoyed working in my sketchbook and feel that it has been beneficial to my development. I then went on to do a larger charcoal drawing once I had found a pose that I liked. I used compressed charcoal on mid toned coloured pastel paper that has a slight texture. I spend two hours on my drawing placing a lamp to the left of my model ( the right hand side of my picture plane). I liked the deep tonal shadows with the contrast of the lightest areas of tone where the light bounced onto the models face. The dark walls behind her in a dimly lit kitchen almost flew the reflected light into a striped effect. My Model was a challenge to draw as she pulled her hair back exposing a large brow and forehead. She also has different shaped eyes and a very long thin straight nose, a dimple in her chin which was highlighted by the light from the lamp.He lips against a oval chin are fairly full. She also has rounded cheeks and a narrow long neck. All challenging ! I spend two and a half hours on my drawing taking regular breaks and taking care to stand back to look at my drawing as I worked on it. I think there are elements of the drawing that still do not work – I am not sure about the month and eyes. I do like the composition and I think although I do have issues with creating a 3D effect overall it is not as flat as some of my other portrait drawings. I also like the light effect that i tried to capture using lively mark making.
Still continuing to focus on the form and structure of the head. I continued to sketch from my model – seeking a final composition, looking for shapes , tones , colour and form. I am also looking for a balanced composition. I did a 30 minute pencil sketch concerned with mark making to gather information about the form. I also made written observational comments in my sketchbook. I then did two 20 minute coloured pencil studies looking at how the light from a lamp plays against the facial features. I now feel ready to do a charcoal drawing.