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Helen Standing - Music Tutor (West Wales UK)



p130 Portrait from Memory

I was really daunted by this task, particularly as I have a terrible memory! However, I just kept drawing and looking for ways to correct shape etc. The final piece still didn't really look like the person in mind, but the work was increasingly coherent.

In the first sketch, the head is too big for the body. In the second, I haven't used the page layout well, as I started with body and didn't leave enough space for the head. The angle of the nose is quite different - but neither were correct!

For the third attempt, the layout was better, although I made him too fat! Again, the eye was too big and the angle of the nose wrong. For the final pen sketch, I felt happier with the shape and proportions, so added a little more tonal detail. I'm not sure that I really captured the mood of the subject, but I like that he is clearly watching something. I could have put more tonal detail in - the arm looks slightly three dimensional, but the face is somewhat flat in appearance.

In this pastel pencil version, I used the skin tone first for the flesh and clothing and I quite like that it brings different colours to the shirt. In fact, I could have done with adding a non-skin tone colours to the face as it still looks to flat. The hair does imply the crazy hair of the subject, but I think a better tonal range would show how the light falls on the man more.

I thought I should also draw a front-on portrait of the same subject amd try to put in to practice some of the things I'd realised.

The face was a bit too long and thin in the pen sketch. I don't think the pastel-pencil version is really quite finished so I could develop this further when time allows. However, I had managed to develop some of the skills from the profile sketches above. I kept the hair similar to the first pastel picture because it was fun, but it doesn't really go with the face work. So perhaps I should try to find a way to make the face match the hair as an alternative approach.

I drew a different person using fine-liner and ProMarker in a different style to the ProMarker self-portrait. This method was quicker than the self-portrait technique and a way to add more fun to the face - although it doesn't look much like the person. However it is good to have two different ways to use the ProMarkers as they depict such different moods.

I think this may have been more successful with FlexMarkers as the lines of the ProMarker nib show a bit on the forehead.

I think I should have build the eye shadows up a little more.