Monday, August 29, 2011
Newborn Portrait - Finishing the Face
I've started the hair, beginning with the mid-tones. I'm laying down the basic shadows, at this stage, and, once again, will build up depth in layers. It is useful to think in terms of light and dark areas, when rendering hair. Trying to draw individual hairs will only produce a messy effect with insufficient form. However, my style is still quite detailed. I don't want the hair to look like the moulded hair of a Barbie doll, so I use a sharp pencil and follow the flow of the strands with every stroke.
After the midtones, I will alternate between light and dark tones, gradually increasing the lowlights and accentuating the highlights, until the hair has sufficient depth and I have applied the different hues which are representative of the colour here. Hair is made up of many different colours, which change in different types of light. It is, also, reflective of its surroundings and can reveal quite surprising colours to the observant viewer. Apart from the reflected colours, it can be surprising to discover that a child's blond hair may appear to have grey tones - not silver-grey, but often a mousey-grey. Very dark brown and black hair can appear to have blue tones.
The picture shows only the start of my rendering of the hair. As always, there will be a stage where the picture looks worse than ordinary. At that point, I normally feign confidence and push on past the 'hideous' barrier, knowing that it usually comes right, in the end, and, rarely, is a challenge insurmountable. However, to this date, I have never experienced the ultimate goal of being completely satisfied with a work. Perhaps, that is a good thing. To have achieved perfection already (besides being an impossibility), would leave no more room for growth and no more artistic triumphs to look forward to.