Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Or Maybe He's Just Wonky-Looking

For me, this week's all about the semi-annual Library Book Sale, and LOTS of my time's been spent seeing to finer details. Lots of my time's also been spent seeing to the macro details--hauling box after box of donations, many of them...less than salable...up and down and around the library. Sale starts tomorrow. Yeah! My twice-a-year retail management experience. I hope that we make the library a boatload of money.

That said, I haven't been working on any long-term projects this week, but rather, working on things that I can pick up and put down and revisit at will. Like sketching. Here's a quick ebony pencil sketch of Offspring XY Physicist, from life.
I have kept these small, to protect your eyes from bleeding.
This sketch was done quickly, because dinner was almost out of the oven, and because OXYP thinks he has things to do and places to go. Many wonky features, particularly, his right eye. But it does resemble my son. Or maybe his father. ANYWAY...

Later, I attempted to redraw his portrait, taking a little more time and using more delicacy in the drawing, and make a better, more finished piece.
Problem is, this one doesn't look like him--or his father. Or anyone else I know. 

Lesson learned: Draw from Life, Whenever Possible. (Oh. And practice more! LOTS more.)


  1. When I'm stumped with a portrait I find turning both my drawing and photo reference upside-down very helpful. It tells the brain to see only shapes and value placement. Also looking at them in a mirror will help the artist's eye see errors in the structure and balance of the face. This is a good drawing. I think you are being hard on yourself. Keep at it. I think you have a good start.

  2. Coffee shops are an awesome place for life drawing. Or the mall. I do tend to get weird stares at the mall. That top one feels more organic. Keep it up!

  3. Kim, thanks. I turned both drawings upside down, side-by-side, and it became immediately obvious that I had to shave off a reasonable portion of his chin and cheek and jaw. The eye still bothers me, but it bothers me on both drawings. I guess I have to ask Owen to stand on his head....

    Jen, thanks. I'm not so worried about weird stares, but do you ever get threatened (law suit, beating) when you're sketching in the mall or coffee shop? That's what I'd be worried about. Sort of.