Sunday, 21 March 2010

Drawing: A Portrait

OK so here you are, about to be taught (hopefully) how to draw your own portrait. The methods that I shall be using are ways in which I have been working over the last few years or so and have found to be a solid way to do a Portrait. What I have done is compiled bits of knowledge, from all over. The internet, friends, family, video’s and of course experience. This is a first for me and have never attempted to teach anybody before but I am more than willing to try.

The techniques I will be using are by no means classical, in the way you would go to an art academy and sit down drawing from the life model and casts, using charcoal and eventually paint etc, the techniques I will be teaching bring the best out of you in only a few places, so limiting your study to this one tutorial is suicide, should you want to become an artist. There are many, many amazing places out there to study, schools, Universities, Art Academies, Apprenticeships etc and many upon many different methods of getting similar results.


Gathering idea’s for me has always been a thing I enjoy. To sit down with a sketchbook and play with this and that, shifting things, arranging compositions etc. Many beginners go about this part of the work very ineffectively. They sit down with a blank sheet of paper or a black sketchbook and go... right now, err... I’ll do this line here? No, no, no. I know, I like pirates, ill draw a pirate... what do they wear, arghhhh, how do I make him look like a pirate...

Sitting down and putting yourself on the spot is never the best way about creating work, and anyway, the idea’s and work will develop and change anyway. Do you think when Da Vinci did the Mona Lisa; he just sat down and went; now I will draw a woman. You firstly start of by inspiring yourself. I find, looking at the internet at images, going to galleries, taking walks or talking to people helps. The original idea may usually come from some kind of philosophical though I may think one day and write down and feel that I would like to do a work about that one day... but say that was what you wanted to do, sitting down and just looking at the quote won’t always work, so to inspire yourself is a must.

This can be done in many ways. Take for example, a stone wall. It maybe a school playground wall on your road, I don’t know, but if you look closer, there is a whole other world on that wall. There are strange mosses, with many different colours, the textures of the stone and the cement holding them together. There is the light which may be hitting it in a certain way. But one thing I have noticed on stone walls is there are always tiny holes where spiders live, little circular cob-webs with a giant hole in the centre leading to a hole in the wall... ooo, what may lurk there. The light might be hitting the wall in a way that casts a small shadow over the hole, which could give it a creepy atmosphere. Begin to imagine what might be in the hole, turn it into a small fantasy story, maybe there are tunnels weaving in and out that stop off at little holes within the wall which can’t be seen from outside, a sort of spider corridor and inside these little holes is a spider family, with a lamp and a newspaper Ha-Ha.

Ok so maybe you don’t (like me) wish for your work to be in that particular direction, but man, it gets your blood flowing. Maybe you want to rush home and draw what you imagined. Maybe you might meet an amazing person who had such an impact on you and such a loving personality. How could you show this in her face? What kind of mouth has she got and how is she using it to give loving signals. The kinds of cloths she wears, again, maybe a sunset is hitting her moist eyes and make her look even more beautiful and amazing. The sky’s the limit!!!


Unless you have had some amazing training or you have been training all your life. It’s often hard to express these emotions without technical skill. Therefore, in aiding my early studies, I have had to become quite reliant and photographs, as I don’t have enough money to go to life drawing sessions. But more importantly, this kind of work requires you to spend so long on the work that drawing from life would be very difficult anyway. However, if you are able to, I recommend that you work this way as much as possible.

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