Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Portrait - The Moment - The Magic - Eureka!

Creative Drawing - Week 6 - has come and gone, and with it the last of the still life drawing lessons; portrait drawing is up next.

Well, for those of you following my weekly progress, you know practice is something I do daily. Moleskine and all!

To that end I needed a head to practice drawing before Wednesday’s class. As I do with a steaming hot bath, I like to dip a toe in to test the water...so it is with preparing myself for portrait drawing; I don’t want any surprises.

It just so happened (as fate favours me) the perfect headshot arrived in my Inbox.

A dear friend shared, by way of a photo, the outcome of a successful trip to her hairstylist. She was beaming with excitement over her new do!

Here...see for yourself, doesn’t she look happy!
Here is my portrait of her - titled “Happy Haircut”. (Size: 11x14)
Clearly - I am overjoyed with the outcome of my first portrait drawing. I’m seldom at a loss for words but it is hard to articulate how much this drawing means to me - I am truly tickled with it!

Note the pendant...due to having my "eureka moment" (see below) I "got" how to show the rounded edge! 

In the process of drawing this portrait I have learned so much about tonal value - my goal, now, is to add realism to the hair by adding colour with the help of pastels. I will lift out (using my kneading eraser) the colour (rust shade) from my Ferby pencil, and add depth using colour to match that in the photo. 

I don’t want to “colour” everything in this drawing but just use hints of colour, like I did on the lips and necklace - subtle and delicate, not overpowering.

I’m starting to get a feel for what I like drawing - and this most definitely has been a favourite.

❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋


CREATIVE DRAWING - WEEK 6  THE EUREKA MOMENT - I GET IT! 

Now...let me share the eureka moment I had that lead to my understanding of tonal values and how they help to create perspective.

Week 6 of my art class: the table from my angle (zooming in on the sunflower)
Note the centre of the sunflower and how it curves and looks like a donut ring. Well, I must have stared at that centre for about ten minutes trying to see the light and dark values.

I then spent another fifteen minutes trying, most unsuccessfully I might add, to get it to look like what I thought I was seeing. I was just about to give up (which we all know is not my style) when I took my kneading eraser and removed “dark” from where I thought “light” was hitting the flower’s centre. 

Here is what I drew...and I want you to know I actually let out an “I GET IT” cheer, in class, when I realized what I had done looked rounded and had depth to it. Note: I was so focused on the centre that time ran out before I could start on the petals - hence this drawing is far from finished.

There’s no turning back now...it’s full steam ahead for me and my pencils as the magic unfolds.

Thank you for joining me as I take this artistic journey. Your words of encouragement, and the energy in your wonderful comments, truly inspire and motivate me to keep going.

How is your passion doing - are you nurturing it along or has it been relegated to the back burner when life gets in the way?


Cheers, Jenny

20 comments:

  1. beautiful subject and gorgeous portrait

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    1. Thank you Becca, yes the subject is beautiful - I'm pleased you think the portrait is gorgeous...I'm very happy with it too! :)

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  2. Wow, what a freaky coincidence, your friend got a fabulous hair cut this week and so did I. And she really does look happy with it too.
    You have really captured the essence of her excitement along with a striking likeness.
    You are a truly wonderful artist.

    (I may need to hit you up on some lessons on drawing faces...so far, I am struggling with that aspect)

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    1. *giggles* Yes, what a coincidence - I bet "she" is just loving her new do.

      As to face drawing lessons, my recommendation is the book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards. Miss CP (who also gets a load of credit) lent it to me. I will say this much - it is brilliant. There is a lot of reading, but the assignments, interspersed, are truly amazing.

      Thanks for "the inspiration"! :)

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  3. Hi Jenny. As I was scrolling down I was so hoping that your portrait would be something which I could provide positive and encouraging feedback about. And then 'freakin heck'.... I saw it and it nearly blew me away....it is amazingly good and you should be walking on cloud 9. I can't say how happy I am for you.....what a gift....I hope life doesn't get in the way of you being able to embrace this to the fullest extent.

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    1. True confessions: I am on Cloud 9 - I really did surprise myself. Let's hope it's not a one-off and I'll be able to do at least as good a job on my next portrait.

      Thank you for being "happy for me" your kind words of encouragement are truly what make this whole adventure wonderful. With smiles, Jenny

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  4. I am amazed by how wonderful your work is! That portrait is incredible, you really got it all right on it, including the emotional tone. So perfect. I also love the idea of some colour but not the whole thing. So great.

    And your sunflower is wonderful.

    Once I am moved I am getting that book and going for it. You are truly inspiring.

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    1. I really do give credit where credit it due - "the book" is awesome. I can't wait for you to get it and go for it! You will love it. I continue to preface that there is a lot of reading and I'm a stickler for reading "every word" of these kinds of books, for fear I'll miss something".

      I am starting Chapter Six - I'm averaging a chapter a week...I read, then think, then draw, sometimes rereading, rethinking and redrawing before I go on. It is definitely a process..but a very enjoyable one at that.

      So good of you to stop by, Em, and leave me such a lovely comment - thank you. :)

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  5. LOL! I saw the portrait over on Lizard Happy before I saw your post. She beat you to the punch :) I'm glad to now see the photo - I can now see how well you've captured the likeness. Well done. Faces are one thing I've never managed to deal with.

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    1. I'm laughing too. Mynx and I have been dialoguing about this behind the scenes. Given it was done for her Art for Art give away, I wanted her to post it first. She opted not to put the first picture, rather letting her readers "wonder" as to who the mystery lady is.

      As for me, I'm such a stickler for "permission" that I wanted to make sure the "lady" in question did not mind me using the original as a comparison, which I think is part of the intrigue and fun.

      Faces and hands...two of the more difficult things to draw. I am bent on mastering them both. To that end it is all about the practice...hours and hours of practice. But, I have to say this much, we all can do it...trick is making and taking the time to learn. Like any other skill set, like driving and walking, when done over and over we master it!

      So now you have no excuse for not picking up a pencil and finding a face to draw! :)

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  6. You are very talented!

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  7. You probably seen my comment on Mynx's blog gushing over how much I adore the self portrait, you've actually done such a wonderful job with it Jenny and I'm so proud to have watched you evolve into such a talented artist. You're a very talented lady and I'm so glad that you've went forward and re-awoken your artistic talent.

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    1. Yes, Matthew, I did see how wonderfully you "gushed" over my piece of art. But here is a little hint, it's not a self portrait...it might be of someone we both know, nudge, nudge, wink, wink! (Clue: your Number One artist pick)

      I love reading your comments they always put me in a right happy mood. :)

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  8. Oh yeah and I was wondering if I could email you about something Jenny. It's hard to ask on Blogger

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    1. I sent you an email with mine. But just in case you drop in here my email address can be found on my Profile Page, right under my photo.

      I look forward to hearing from you. :)

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  9. I just love those "Eureka" moments! They make me feel like "Yes! I really do have a brain!" (grin)

    Jenny dear, I am constantly amazed by your drive and the talent you are developing. Pretty soon you can mix this in with your writing skills and we'll be seeing your first graphic novel serializing one of your stories.

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    1. And you really do have a brain, dear Rev - just look at all you've been up to lately - that chain mail project - you've got to seriously have a brain for figuring that out; I wouldn't know where to start.

      Funny you should mention mixing my drawing and writing...Miss CP and I were discussing this very thing on Friday night. I am going to attempt (word "attempt" used loosely here) to pull out of my head the very demons that have been running freely just waiting their turn to be flattened on a page in my shiny new Moleskine. (might be post worthy down the road!)

      What do you use when mapping out your designs?

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  10. i love this---and those moments are the greatest huh :)

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    1. Thanks Lynn - yes, those ah-ha moments are some of the best. It's like the door being opened to a room full of possibilities. :)

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Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

I'd give you a penny for them, but alas we just snuffed it out. Yup...gone!
It's all about the nickel now...so at this rate you can leave 5 thoughts!

Cheers, Jenny

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