Before embarking on a portrait, making a preliminary study sketch can help to familiarise yourself with the subject – once you begin putting down marks on the paper a relationship starts to form. Taking that first step will help to reveal what is important as you closely investigate the details of their features. As the study is usually carried out in a free and spontaneous manner, it is common to prefer the sketch to the finished portrait.
I plan to make a few more studies in watercolour as well as in ink before starting the final portrait of my step-daughter’s youngest son. When drawing his sweet little face I got totally carried away, so have learned not to overwork it….something I do a lot.
Since (unbelievably) that clown Donald Trump is US President Elect, our world has been turned into a circus…and it’s not funny. So I thought I’d give you at least one reason to smile by sharing this little cutie with you. This was all done using watercolour crayons.
Isn’t it always the way? With this drawing of my son I didn’t try. Really! It was only a spontaneous sketch with barely any conscious thought…yet somehow, I effortlessly managed to accurately ‘capture’ my son and his mood. He even likes it enough to use it on his website.
Striving for perfection and overthinking often sabotages creativity. It’s a paradox! This was only achieved because I was ‘in the flow’, in a ‘zone’; the usual self-inflicted pressure was off and I didn’t care about the outcome. I was unleashed!
Drawing with coloured pencils is extremely satisfying. It’s just so very simple – all that is required is some paper, pencils and a sharpener. And the results are gratifyingly fast…no drying time required.
I’ll have to cultivate this – in future, I’ll try not to try.
This is not one of those pointless new year resolutions, but, being my first post of 2015 it’s a chance for a fresh start.
I’m determined to do much more art this year.
These sketches of my son’s fist are another warm-up exercise.
Are you a follower of rules?
I recently underwent an epiphany whilst devouring a rare treat of a book, focusing on the raw drawings and watercolours of Egon Schiele, the Austrian Expressionist. It was edifying to note that this influential figurative artist characteristically left the backgrounds of many paintings unadorned or simply washed parts in a thin, flat, monochrome. A master of fine line, he conveying much with a minimum of detail. He did not bow to societal dictates.
An all-but audible ‘thunk’ occurred as my soggy neural structures were permeated: the copious purist ‘rules’ underpinning traditional techniques are not to be interpreted as rigid instruction – they are merely principles to guide. Fine, mock all you like!
It proved impossible to get this A2 image scanned so my abysmal photograph will have to do – if you click the image a few times it looks better larger. There’s some artistic licence with the guitar which was a struggle to accurately depict and the body proportions look wrong – which is strange since I conscientiously measured scale and ratios for the first time ever.
This study was, however, brazenly created in the knowledge that nobody will punish me for leaving the subject floating untethered on the paper. I’m free to vociferously outline in ink or crayon. Do I dare highlight with white paint? Do I dare disturb the universe?
Suddenly, I feel vaguely unloosened.