Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Aidan - WIP 2

I worked a bit more on Aidan, adding his ear and starting the hair. There isn't much of it in this portait, since he's wearing a hat, just a few locks that typically hang down on his forehead. I'm afraid I may have messed up the tooth of the paper on his forehead to the viewer's left, since I can't seem to add any more graphite to darken it up. I'll keep trying.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Aidan - WIP 1

After I finished Grant's portrait, I felt very proud - I had never been so proud of one of my drawings before. I spent many hours on it, and took my time, applying lessons I'd learned from books and from my friends at the ArtPapa forums. I already had a photo of Aidan picked out that I wanted to use for the next one, but after a while, I realized I was dragging my feet about it. One day it occured to me that what was preventing me from working on another portrait was a fear of failure. I was afraid that I couldn't do as well (not to mention better) on another portrait as I'd done on Grant's. I don't expect my skills to improve markedly from one drawing to the next, but I do expect to learn from my mistakes, if nothing else. Still, weeks went by and I couldn't bring myself to start Aidan's portrait until one day I forced myself to.

I'm using a new paper, Arches 140 lb. Hot Pressed Watercolor, and graphite.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fear of failure

After feeling so good about my last drawing, the portrait of Grant, I find myself dragging my feet with my next drawing. I've chosen a picture of Aidan to do, which I think is really cute, and I've done the contours and started on one of his eyes, but for some reason, I'm afraid to continue. I've been dragging my feet with it, finding other things to do besides work on it, whereas with Grant's portrait, I couldn't wait to get to it to see how it would come out. I even bought nice paper to use with Aidan's portrait and everything. I realized this morning that I'm afraid to mess it up - I was so happy with Grant's portrait, I think subconsciously that I've convinced myself I can't top it. But I know I can. At this point, I've lost my drawing momentum and I need to just pick up the pencils again and continue. One of my goals for this week is to start it up again. Sigh...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Grant - Final

Here is Grant's finished portrait. I have to say that I'm prouder of this drawing than ever I have done before. I used tips I've picked up from the many drawing books I have, and from the great people over at ArtPapa Forums. I couldn't have done it without their support.

I learned a lot on this portrait, and already look forward to my next one. I made some mistakes on this, and hopefully I learned from them. Maybe nobody will notice them but me!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Grant - WIP 5

Well, I decided to stick with the plaid shirt that Grant had on in the photo. After I started, I thought I had ruined the whole drawing, but after completing this part of the shirt, I think that even though the pattern does draw the eye to it, the lines direct the eye up towards the face. My intention is to have the viewer first notice the eyes, then the viewer's gaze will go down to the right, where the lines will lead to the left, and then up to the hair and back to the eyes. Whether this will actually work or not, I don't know. I plan on toning down the lines in the shirt a bit to make it less of a distraction and to set it back from Grant's face.

There's usually at least one point in every drawing when I think I've blown it and ruined the whole thing. In this drawing, that's happened with the hair and again with the shirt. I even resisted working on it for a few days while I thought about what to do with the shirt, looking at it a few times each day.

After the shirt is done, I plan on going back to sharpen up some points in the face and hair a tiny bit to give it slightly more focus.