Mission Statement

This is a blog in which I intend to reach my goal to draw/paint a thousand faces! Welcome, and come along for the journey!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Face #253, "Sarita"

This is the finished portrait I have been working on from a picture of my sister Sarita on her fairly recent wedding day. I also decided to take some pictures of it as I was working on it, to post here. I think it's funny how severely the camera flash bleaches out the first pictures below, to the point you can't even tell the paper is toned. I took those pics at close range because I shot them rapidly while I was working and still had pastel all over my hands. This portrait finished off at about 16" by 22". I haven't decided on my next "real life" project as yet. I think it will be from another celebrity photo, though. And I have already started on some other of sketches to show for next time. Until then, take care!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Quarter Of The Way There

In just under 5 months, I made it a quarter of the way (250 faces) toward reaching my goal of drawing a thousand faces for this blog the other day. I would have liked to have had more done in that amount of time, but I have a life, and have also had a shift in wanting to do more portraiture type drawing/painting. I went out of town for a long weekend before I could post these. Here are faces 243-252. These are not from "real life", and are more of the fictitious forms I like to draw. I have a "real life" portrait I have been working on that I may post later in the week. But for now, here's what I have:
I hope everyone has a good week, and take care until next time!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Face #242 Cate Blanchett

I like Cate Blanchett very much. She is a very striking woman, and I love the strong women she portrays in the movies she is in. This piece took up the better part of my afternoon, then I went back tonight for another half hour and finished it. I thought I'd also post some pics of it while it was in progress.Well, for better or worse, there is Face #242, Cate Blanchett. I will post again soon. Take care until then!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Face #241....... "You Talkin' To Me?"

"You talkin' to me?"is one of the most famous movie lines of all time, from Robert DeNiro as "Travis" in the movie "Taxi Driver". I had a lot of faces done to show, but decided this one of Robert DeNiro deserved its own separate post. While I drew this one from a photo, I know it isn't from that particular movie. Yet, the whole time I worked on it, I could just keep hearing him saying that (in my head)! This was a particularly challenging piece because there is a lot of delineation in the photo between his hair and the background, and even part of his face on the left. I had to layer the pastel carefully there, so as not to go too dark in one step. I decided to go black and white right from the start since the color in the photo wasn't great to begin with, and this was much more dramatic. For better or worse, this is face #241, Robert De Niro.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Life Or Something Like It

While I still plan to do plenty of drawings without the use of photos and models as is customarily my process, I thought I would also add more "life-drawing" to the mix and increase the portraiture, too. I have printed up a bunch of pics of famous people I wanted to draw, and they will appear here along with any other faces I draw in the future.
That said, Face #236 (below) is worked from a photo of Hillary Clinton. But don't imagine it is because of any political bias or affiliation...I just like her face! She has some very striking features.
The rest of the faces, #237-#240 (below), are from my usual illustrative process without any intentional effort for them to resemble anyone in particular.
I had hoped to have a few more than just these today, but hey...I've got a life, too. Next time I'll try to have more. Until then, take care.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Photos, and a Finish

This piece is finished, for better or worse. I realize that by going outside of my usual process, I did not get the skin tones deep enough to my satisfaction. But that's what I would expect from going from black and white, and then jumping ship after the fact and deciding I wanted color. It's a change from the way I normally work. Usually I stay on course with my original ideas.
I have maintained over the years, that for the most part, if you are going to work from a photograph, it ought to be one you take yourself. Suffice to say, I did not take the pic of Jason Lewis that I worked from (but I also know, I would not have had an opportunity to draw him otherwise). The primary reasons you should take your own photo to work from are many. For one thing, you learn more about composition when you are the one behind the camera choosing the light, subject, what will or will not be in the frame, angle, and the list goes on.
Below are several photos where no adjustments have been made. It is better when you are just beginning in photography to concentrate on a complete composition within the frame of the shot, without relying on digital adjustments later in the processing area. It will make a better photographer of you to get in this mindset!
Of course, once you've been at it for a while, you may find you can rescue an otherwise mediocre image by cropping, and other enhancements...
This first one has been enhanced by using a sepia filter, and there was a glare from the flash that was removed.
This next shot was saved by cropping an otherwise boring composition, and focusing on a more limited area of the frame.
And here, this wedding photo was originally too dark, and so the contrast was adjusted. Then the distracting background was eliminated and replaced with a more artistic one...
In closing, whether or not you are an artist working from photos, whether or not you want to be a photographer, you really can take better photos by concentrating on what makes a good composition!
I will post again soon with more faces. Until then, take care!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jason Lewis

Face #235  is Jason Lewis. If you don't know who he is, could it be possible you are either  A: not a woman or B: you just don't have a pulse? He's the type of guy that walks into a room and makes you feel like you've melted into a complete puddle of passion on the floor. As I have mentioned before on this blog, that I generally don't draw from photos or use models, but this is one of those exceptions. Although I have rendered it in black and white, the original pic I worked from is at the link below in color. I have shown here the quick contour sketch as well as a version with more complete values. Enjoy! I know I will, and have a feeling this is not the last time I will be drawing the very hot Mr. Lewis!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Preliminary Sketch

I haven't had a whole lot of time since my last post to get in much drawing. I spent all day Sunday traveling, and traveling tends to deplete my energy a bit. But it was a beautiful day. I was in awe of all the budding trees with their explosive color, and the sailboat peppered waterways we passed while driving. Florida really is breathtaking, and with spring upon us it is particularly striking. Even for a person who doesn't draw "plein air", it is still real life from which I get my inspiration, so all that scenic eye candy along the trip is sure to come back to me creatively.
Before my travels, I had an unscheduled impulsive drawing session in which I sketched this below, sketched face # 234. I am thinking of expanding upon the sketch for a more elaborate piece. I really enjoyed working on this one, so if even a more elaborate work doesn't come from it, I am still happy with it as it is. It is the tangible expression I created of how blissful I felt in a moment, that "lighter than air" quality a person sometimes experiences.
Face #234
 That's all I have for now. I hope to have more to post later in the week, or early weekend. Take care until then!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Bennie and The Jets"

Face #223- Face #233 
"Oh, they're weird and they're wonderful..."
"She's got a mohair suit, electric boots..."
"Buh buh buh Bennie and the Jets..."
Have a fun weekend!