View Full Version : Portrait

10-21-2006, 05:18 PM
Found this pictures of a really innocent-looking girl on the web. Kind of reminded me of a girl I knew. So I did a portrait. This is my first serious attempt at a portrait for a long time. Took me about 3-4 hours. At the end I realized I had the left eye was drawn too high and they are way too big, but oh well, here it is. Comments and criticisms are welcome as always.

10-21-2006, 06:17 PM
ok...here's what I noticed right off. It's definately not a bad thing, or really a thing to be fixed but I noticed that her lips are more defined and clear than the rest of her face (kinda blurry and out of focus). I love it though, I love how you captured the innocence aspect of such a young person. You were able to put a quizzical (spelling?) look to her too, sorta like shes saying (in a musical tone)"I'm the perfect angel, bet you don't know what I just did!"

Great work!


10-21-2006, 07:07 PM
Yeah, I just got tired after drawing in the lips. It was already 1am and I had to get up 530 to go to work. So I just left it the way it is. But I think once you are done with a drawing, it's kind of hard to go back into it. You might just end up messing it up. So I think I'll just leave it.
You are very right about the curious expression she had. That was what got me interested. I don't know what the photographer said to her to have her make that face. Or maybe she was just a bit uneasy in front of the camera.

11-25-2006, 07:27 AM
Are you still working on this? Maybe not?

Anyhow, the tricky thing about portraits is how you can get stuck on a specific detail. In this case the lips. Sometimes it makes things go twisted. Like how in your pic, her nose is turned one way, while her lips are turned another. Maybe that was on purpose?

At any rate, drawing the basic head shape + neck and shoulders; before going to the details helps a lot. Just draw an egg, and that's the head, neck and shoulders should be lickity split easy.

Then sketch lines for features placement. Straight or curved it's up to you, but a single line down the center of the face. Then a horizontal line 1/2 way down the head(eyes placement), another one about 1/2 way between eye line and chin(nose), next a line 1/2 way between nose line and chin(mouth).

Freehanding's fun, but without a reference photo it's tricky. Sometimes it's tricky with a photo. So using the lines just helps to keep everything in it's proper place and turned the same :).

11-25-2006, 07:33 AM
Sorry, I didn't think to do this sooner. Here's a basic idea of what I mean. It's super basic, and open to interpretation and refinement. It's just a basic start for a portrait, and only one pose, but should give a decent example of how to begin so as not to get lost...

11-25-2006, 07:38 AM
Thank you very much for the pointers. Yes I got kind of tired of it and moved on to other things. The problem with drawing reference lines is that people seldomly follow that rule, and that's what gives each face character. I found that when I use reference line with standard divisions, I end up with somebody other than my model. Maybe next time before I start, I should try doing a tracing of the reference photos to put in these lines, and study how they differ from the standard rules. Thanks again.

11-25-2006, 09:33 AM
No probs. You made me giggle though. I use the lines, but the features move to where they want to be even with them. All they do for me is keep me from getting giant foreheads and cross-eyes and such But yeah, you're right, tracing the lines where they are on a particular model works great.

D Akey
11-25-2006, 10:01 AM
Positioning and proportion is tough sometimes, What I've done is take it into Photoshop and move bits around to perfect the composition. . . or in this case nudge the eye into place.

No seams when it's against a plain, white background. So no problem in that case.

But when there's strokes you're cutting into (if you were to change the drawing now) you can always use the cloning tool in PS. Then once it's back in ArtRage you can then paint over it (on a new layer or not).

One way or other it'll be virtually undetectable.

Can't do that with traditional materials.


11-25-2006, 10:41 AM
I dunno, man. I'm still kind of old fashioned. I like ArtRage precisely because it is like traditional media, minus the hassel and mess of keeping all the material around. But when you start moving facial features around using PhotoShop, to me that takes the fun out of drawing freehand. To me the solution is either 1), keep messing around until you get it right, or 2) take what you've learned and start over. :D

D Akey
11-25-2006, 06:17 PM
Hi lastsalvo,

Good point. I admire the purist approach. If you're doing it for fun, or have spent only a few minutes on the drawing and it would take only a moment to re-do, go for it. This drawing would fall into that category.

Also if you're batting out lots and lots of drawings, like in a storyboard and finish is not an issue, I'd just scrap it and start over. Board guys throw out more drawings than I care to think about.

It's a different business when one is doing finished work. When I'm dealing with clients and have to make a change to an area and don't want to re-do the whole thing that took a day or two, I'm all for fixing the least amount I have to.

Moving bits around can also be cool if for analysis or experimentation, like lowering the brow line on an alien, widen the set of its eyes, broadening shoulders, and so on. It's also cool for moving things around in a composition. Can make lots of variations.

I'm of the school that if it serves your end then it's kosher. I find fun in getting it to look the best it can with the least effort. And if I have a question if an eye is off, I can just move it and know difinitively yes or no that that was the problem.

But it's also fine to not do it. Your approach sounds more fun and less pressured. And one will likely end up a stronger draftsman in the long run doing it your way.

:D :D :D