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Thread: b&w sketch with felt pen

  1. #1
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    b&w sketch with felt pen

    Spent a few pleasant hours tonight doing a felt pen sketch of my daughter when she was 18, 12 years ago - time sure flies. The preset is from Henry Stahle (from the "BW Line Art" thread) - brilliant to draw with. Thanks Henry!

    I traced her face (for some reason she's notoriously hard to get a likeness from, I've tried over the years lol!) and then used the ref from there on in. I used black and white - the white to put the little hairs in over the top of the hair, and to modify black lines here and there when I was finishing off.

    Thanks for looking
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  2. #2
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    Really nice pic/drawing. I love the rough style.

    One of the things you might be careful of is putting things in because it's in the photo. Being selective is a good step in tracing or projecting. It's something I learned as an illustrator. Despite what people might think, that tracing is purely literal, it's not. There's an art to it that comes out in knowing what to put in, what to leave out, what to change, what to simplify and streamline etc.

    I mean, it's all a fun ride, dancing lovingly over the features of someone you love, and that's a groovy process. But don't look at it like you're taking dictation from a source photo. Knowing how to draw comes in handy for this kind of process. So for example when we're doing pictures of glamorous women, they get streamlined in the face, where the nose is simplified, the eye make up and lips are often pushed and shadows are taken down to a few really specific and telling one and are placed for effect to emphasize those features that women themselves historically emphasize.

    So when an artist who draws in those elements in freehand drawing to begin with, because it's how they would translate a lady's face, they will bring those sensibilities over to their drawings done from a projection or a trace. They go with what they know works for their aesthetic. Tracing only rarely teaches that. Drawing very often does. And experience and looking at how other people stylize their work is very important because it gives us ideas. And then we go and try them out and over time develop out own editing process and don't have to think all that much about every little detail. It's the classic "Big Picture" that we're frequently aiming for in a drawing.

    I took your drawing and tried something out to see if I was right, because that cheek shadow you have to the left of the nose and mouth didn't make sense to me and I could only guess it must have been really prominent in the photo for you to put it in. So I minimized it and to my eye it looked better. The problem with that is that I don't know what your daughter looks like. And in portraiture sometimes it's those things that make the likeness resemble them more.

    But you had said that your daughter's likeness was historically elusive to you. Aside from being able to paint and draw people we're close to is tough for most people, we're almost feeling like we're insulting them by changing something. . . even when it makes it a better drawing. None the less, on a separate version, you may want to erase back that cheeky bit. . . unless you're saying she's cheeky, in which case it's funny and revealing.

    Let the viewer's mind complete that bit. It's perhaps a little overly descriptive. Let the mind run with some of it and as such the viewer is actually more engaged.

    Anyway, it's a sweet drawing. And I like the coarse style for a girl. The contrast says 'tomboy'.
    Last edited by D Akey; 09-22-2014 at 04:36 AM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  3. #3
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    Hi D Akey, quite a lengthy critique. With my "rough style", I feel the shading suits in this case. I really enjoy drawing, my first love back in the '50s growing up. Suits me better than painting and colour which is not as effortless and requires more decision-making in my case, although because of that, I'm always learning. However, each to their own.

    I didn't trace the shading from the photo, only the big shapes. As I said, I used the ref as guide.

    I would really love to see some of your work, since you say you were an illustrator. Is there anywhere we can access this? I'm curious to understand your style. Thanks

  4. #4
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    You're kind to ask. Totally different lifetime. My participation online is wholly on the verbal level for better or worse. And when the person I'm commenting to about their work likes it, I continue to follow their threads and comment more and cheer them on up close, and when they don't, I back off to a safe distance and cheer them on from afar.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  5. #5
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    A really fine work!
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  6. #6
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    Thanks Caesar, I appreciate it

  7. #7
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    Very well drawn Hildee, and I like your 'rough' style too. It's not easy to do Black and White well, and you have succeeded with a very credible effort.

  8. #8
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    Very nice!

    Great drawing with a lot of feeling.

  9. #9
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    Thanks so much, copespeak, I'm happy you like the style

    Hi Marilyn Anne, thank you. I'm really glad the feeling came through. She's a special daughter with special needs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hildee View Post
    . . .She's a special daughter with special needs.
    From the bottom of my heart, God bless. . . both or all of you. You just lit up the sky in my book.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

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