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Drawing Faces People Portrait Sktchy Sktchy

Rainbow Hair and a Pretty Pointy Profile Pic

Ioana F from Sktchy, pencil and colored pencil, 10x8 inches
Ioana F from Sktchy, pencil and colored pencil, 10×8 inches

I was inspired to sketch Ioana because of her brilliant hair color (see her photo on Sktchy here) and because a dear friend had to shave her head while undergoing chemo and I was looking for photos of beautiful bald women to share with her. (Ioana also posted photos of herself with a shaved head on Sktchy.) Maybe when my friend finishes her treatment and her hair grows back she’ll dye it shades of pink and orange to celebrate.

Profile sketch from internet photo, pencil, 10x8 inches
Profile sketch from internet photo, pencil, 10×8 inches

This sketch was done to practice profile drawing which I find difficult. She has such an unusual facial structure as you can see in the photo below, but somehow looks beautiful despite the pointy chin and long nose and big ears. She looks nervous about it all in my sketch.

Reference photo from somewhere on the internet
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Art Drawing Faces People Portrait Sktchy

Aleksandra Again and Again

Aleksandra Final Pencil Sketch
Aleksandra Final Sketch, pencil, 10×8″

I worked on making a portrait of Aleksandra over and over for a couple of months (see the terrible work below). I finally surrendered and chose a different photo of her. The drawing above went smoothly and I did it in one afternoon. (Sktchy photo reference for above sketch.)

What originally inspired me to paint her was the bright yellow-green background in this Sktchy photo. But I learned the hard way that selfies shot close up distort the features and shape of the face.

Our eyes and brains automatically correct for things like photo distortion and lighting, but trying to draw exactly what is there from a distorted photo doesn’t work unless you’re ok with a distorted drawing. Sometimes that can make for a fun caricature, but in this case I was trying to capture a complimentary likeness of a pretty woman.

Below are some of the failed attempts. The first colored image is an oil painting with about 15 layers of failed attempts beneath the final failed attempt. The second colored image is a gouache painting that I put too much paint on, tried to wash some off, then gave up because the sketchbook paper was ruined.

Last six attempts including a failed oil painting (top row) and gouache (bottom row).

Below are the really terrible initial drawings.

Early attempts, some with imposed corrections
Categories
Art Drawing Faces Sktchy

Sketch of Zoey K.

Zoey K from Sktchy. Graphite on copy paper. 8 x 8 inches.

My pencil drawing can’t do justice to her bright red hair (see her photo on Sktchy here) but I’m still limiting myself to pencil to improve my portrait drawing skills.

I’m trying to work out how to address the distortion that is in almost every selfie because of the wide angle lens held close to the face. Perhaps the best solution is to just go with it and not worry about realism. Maybe everyone is used to seeing each other via selfies and that’s what we think people look like now anyway?

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Art Drawing People Sktchy

Cozy Sleepers on a Rainy Day

Cozy Sleepers on a Rainy Day
Cozy Sleepers on a Rainy Day, graphite on copy paper, 11×8.5″

I’m not quite as relaxed as these two but now that competent grown-ups are in charge of the USA again I feel like I can relax a bit and focus on something other than the news.

It’s been rainy and windy in the SF Bay Area and it’s so cozy being home, with time to draw, bake bread and make soup.

I miss seeing my family but I’m lucky that I enjoy my own company and being alone. I’m hopeful that by this time next year we will be able to stop social distancing and start being social again.

Categories
Art Drawing Faces People Sktchy

Fun Portrait Sketch of Pulcherie

Pulcherie, Graphite pencil on recycled printer paper, 11 x 8 inches
Pulcherie, Graphite pencil on recycled printer paper, 11 x 8 inches.

This portrait of Pulcherie was so fun to sketch! According to her Sktchy profile, she is a French artist living in China. You can see the original photo reference on Sktchy here.

It’s always such a gift when a drawing just goes well! I was able to do this one in a couple of hours while listening to Barack Obama’s latest (audio) book that he narrates. I never noticed before that he had a slight lisp but I’m sure I’m hearing one on the S-sounds when he reads aloud from his book.