Friday, September 9, 2011

A Sketch of my Daughter

This sketch of Melanie was drawn in about three afternoons, nearly three years ago, and it brings back many memories of my daughter as she was, at that time. It has a coloured surface, which gives a different effect to the portraits, on white Stonehenge paper, that I have been concentrating on, recently.

One of the nice effects of coloured paper is the glow, which is achieved by adding a few white highlights, at the end of the drawing process. You can see it here with the shine on the nose. This is my favourite part of this technique - it produces a pastel effect which I feel results in a soft and attractive-looking portrait.

Although, I had been using coloured pencils for a number of years, when I drew this picture, my technique was still quite raw. The picture looks more like a sketch than a finished portrait to me and it has more of a stylised, than a realistic, look. My technique, these days, is not accurate enough to be described as photorealism, but it is, nonetheless, a lot more realistic than it was, only a year or two ago. The challenge to create photorealistic pictures has intrigued me, at some points in my development as an artist, but, on the whole, I find that my need for artistic expression overrides the temptation to attempt to produce a perfect photographic imitation of my subjects.

I am still plodding along with my newborn portrait. I am starting to get excited about finishing it, soon. I have an arm and the baby's clothes to render, and, then, I will be ready to add the final touches. In this portrait, I can see that I will need to deepen the shadows significantly, during the final stage. It won't necessarily take a long time to achieve this, but I will need to be bold with these shadows. Insufficient depth will produce, not only an insipid result, but it will, also, make the portrait look very flat and unrealistic.

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