Monday, April 25, 2011

What I'm Drawing Now Day 12 - Portrait of Melanie

And, now to the floor. A shiny, wooden floor will add contrast to the softness of the skin and the dress. I will have to be careful not to make it too dark or it will dominate the composition, the subject consisting of muted, pastel colours.

As I commented on yesterday's post, the angle of the pose was constructed to emphasise the youth and uncertainty of the subject. Looking from a level viewpoint would have indicated equality and a certain peer factor, while an angle looking up to the subject would have shown the authority or dominance of the subject.

The angle of the gaze is also important. Staring straight at the camera is difficult to do well in portraiture, but it can be used to good effect to show great power and control. A steady front-on look can be a bit confronting in a strong personality unless the artist can successfully convey an empathy with the subject. With most people, this sort of pose is just bland. Looking away to the side or into the distance is suggestive of dreaminess, ambition, thoughtfulness and many other emotions. Body posture, colour, expression and composition will make the story clearer.

Lighting is another especially important aspect of posing a subject. There is so much to consider in lighting a subject that I'll save that for another post.

Please leave feedback on my work - I appreciate all comments and opinions on my pictures, and I welcome all visitors to my blog.


  1. When you pose someone for a photo you must already have an idea of what feeling you want to portray. Do you pose all your photos that you eventually turn into pictures? Or do you just take pictures you like and draw them?

  2. I have to pose nearly all the pictures I draw, Immy. Very occasionally, I find a snapshot that works well for a portrait, like the last one of Bethany picnicking at the beach. That was a happy accident, but usually it takes a lot of planning. Recently, I searched over a thousand photos on my computer and didn't find a single one which would make a good portrait. Sometimes, several photos can be combined but I find it works better to think in terms of visual story-telling and compose the picture from scratch. Even this simple portrait tells a story about the personality of the subject so the details are important to get the message across.

    Thank you for your comments, Immy. x


Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Vicky