Portraits (Classes)


Before the summer break we did a few weeks looking at portraiture and picked it back up again last week using the monochrome gouache on coloured paper. I sat for these paintings in sessions of around 20 minutes.

Last term we drew each other in class and mainly worked with charcoal and chalk on coloured  papers.

The starting point for our portraiture sessions was a visit from a friend of a class member who had offered to sit for the Thursday morning class. It was a lovely June day and Maggie sat out in the garden reading a book.

We did both pencil drawings and chalk and charcoal.

It was quite challenging as some people had to contend with sunlight glare and a shifting light. That said it is good to work outside the studio from time to time.

There were lots of good drawings done achieving a likeness of Maggie.

The next installment was introducing the idea of quick sketches to try and loosen up .

We started with 5 minutes and worked up to 20 or so mainly black and white on coloured paper.

This gave the class confidence to tackle a portrait and get basic information down quickly. Class members were very patient volunteering to pose and some even enjoyed the experience of sitting for 20 minutes.

I wanted to allow the class a longer pose so my step son Matthew offered to sit and his girlfriend Emily who is doing Art at school joined the class in drawing.

The week after Emily sat for the Wednesday night class and Matthew who has done very little art, had a go at drawing. His is the first one in the next gallery of work.

Lastly we had an offer from Ruth who comes to our Thursday morning class to sit for us.

This was very kind as Ruth really enjoys drawing portraits. Overall there were some great drawings with likenesses and lots of things learnt in a relatively short period of time.

One of the main things I try to get across is to get the proportions right via a quick sketch. This is then your framework within which you can add detail and gain a likeness. The images below show these general rules to which we all differ slightly but on the whole conform to .

sp-12-12-05-prop Full-Face-Proprotions

Once these guiding principles are in place you can much more easily cast your eye towards looking at the subtleties of each persons differences and also break these rules when you want to exaggerate some parts more than others.

Leave a comment