Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Eye Studies Part 2 - Wendon Blake and John Lawn, "Portrait Drawing: A Step-by-Step Art Instruction Book"

Let me say that in the course of my eye studies, I am going to encounter many different styles of drawing. Some strive for near photorealism, some are more sketchy, and some are more idealized, as I think Vanderpoel's are. The drawings in Wendon Blake and John Lawn's book, "Portrait Drawing: A Step-by-Step Art Instruction Book", are in the middle category. They are almost comic-book like in style, with lots of rough shading done by parallel lines. I intend to mimic the style of each author when following their instructions.

There wasn't much new in this book, I'm afraid, as its instructions are of the Betty Edwards draw-what-you-see school. Not much here on eye structure or why the eye looks the way it does, or even how to draw the iris to give the illusion of corneal transparency. It's really more of a draw-by-the-numbers book.

There are four examples, the front view, the 3/4 view, the side view, and the looking-down view. Each example has four steps to follow: 1) the contour drawing, 2) darkening and rounding out the lines, 3) blocking in tones, and 4) strengthening the tones and adding final details. It illustrates a specific way of shading, which I have tried to duplicate in my drawings. The first, third, and fifth drawings I copied from the book, and for the other two, I followed the steps in the book while drawing eyes from a couple of photos.


Tommy said...

The shading is great on these, but you also have it where it REALLY counts... in the form. You nailed the form on these eyes. Keep up the good work.

Stephen said...

Thanks, Tommy! I know I still have so much to learn. Stay tuned because this is just part 2 of a lot of them! Hopefully I can finish them all in June, but if not, it'll just be more learning for me.