Saturday, October 21, 2017

More portrait practice

I have been doing more portrait practice, some from life. Some have been better than others. I took some pictures recently of this young lady and with her permission, did this charcoal portrait. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

More Pencil Portraits

Well, I am really getting into portraits these days. I just finished and shipped off two commissioned portraits which I cannot show here until after Christmas. 

I am learning a lot as I practice and make mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes I was making was to place the sketchpad in my lap and draw while looking at my subject in front of me. In other words, my drawing surface was perpendicular to my subject and the perspective was distorted. The drawing would look fine in my lap, but when I picked it up and looked at it straight on, it would look squished - too short from top to bottom.

I am also being more careful in the early stages - trying to get everything just right from the very beginning including angles, placement of the features etc...

Anyway, here are a couple more pencil drawings. The first one is my son, Lincoln, and the second one is my mother circa 1953 or '54. She was a beauty.

I drew both of these while looking at photos on my computer screen...with my sketchpad held in the same plane as the subject. 

Let me know if you would like to commission a portrait. It would make a nice Christmas gift, I believe.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Free Christmas Portrait Promotion

Between now and Christmas 2017, I am offering a free pencil sketch portrait as an added bonus for buying a painting.

I am in the process of practicing my portrait drawing skills in the hopes of doing more commissioned work, so this is my chance to work under these kind of conditions and strive for excellence.... and maybe sell some more paintings.

So, here is how it works. You buy a painting, you get a free portrait. After you purchase the painting, you can then decide if you want a portrait of yourself or someone else... or even your dog or cat. Send me a high resolution photo, preferably with some good shadows on one side of the face. I can send you your finished portrait along with your painting in the same package to save shipping costs.

Go HERE to buy a painting.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pencil Rembrandt

I drew this while looking at one of Rembrandt's famous oil self portraits. He did about 100 of them throughout his lifetime. I think this would make an elegant statement on anyone's wall. I think it would look good in a black frame. 

Image size is 8 x 7.5 inches on 9 x 12 paper.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Portrait Practice with Russian Generals

These are drawings from my sketchbook. I am practicing my ability to draw portraits from life... or in this case, digital images online. These images are drawn by looking at oil paintings by an artist named George Dawe. George lived from 1781 to 1829 and painted a series of famous portraits of Russian generals. These generals fought in several conflicts, most notably the defense of Russia against Napoleon. Leopold had a famous niece - Victoria, who later became Queen of England.

Ivan Shakhovskoy

Leopold 1 King of the Belgians

Dmitry Golitsyn

Sunday, August 27, 2017

In the Corner of the Paddock

Here is a painting using a limited palette which I learned from a previous exercise. I tried for an "emerging from the shadows" feel with this one. Rendering the foreground straw was tedious but fun.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

4th of July

This one is done is my response to the Copy challenge. I wasn't thinking about copyrights or anything and just went right to one of my Andrew Wyeth books and copied one of his loose untitled watercolor studies of Karl Kuerner with a dead deer on a snowy hillside. I then realized that it might be illegal to have done this even though I am not planning on selling it. Wyeth works are not in the public domain.

Regardless, I learned a lot, especially after trying to match his color palette. He gets a lot out of just a few earthy colors with some mysterious cold grays and very subtle greens showing up here and there. When I saw these colors flowing across my paper, it was kind of magical to see the way they could suggest a lot with a little.

Then I did this painting based on some photo reference I had of a local 4th of July parade from years ago. I removed a lot of extra background stuff as I was going for that stark Wyeth quality and some of that mysterious feeling in the poses. "What are those guys doing out there in the road? Why don't they look happy?" I also forced myself to draw everything without using any of my graphic designer tricks with transfers and tracing... thinking that is what Mr. Wyeth would have done.

The video of this one should be ready soon.