View Full Version : Blood in the Afternoon

08-11-2009, 07:55 PM

Title: Blood in the Afte
Year Created:
Medium: Pencil
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 11 x 14
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This has proven an amazing critique spot for me so far, so thank you for this. This is a detail shot of a portrait of Hemingway done with graphite and colored pencil. I appreciate any comments that help me improve my drawing and thank you (with great gratitude) for the comments that have already surfaced.

Any comments/observations are wonderful!

08-11-2009, 11:11 PM
You have a distinctive style and it's well suited to portraits so I hesitate to suggest changes that might inhibit your style's natual development.

I wouldn't change this one, but before starting your next one, look hard at your subject and try to picture the subject's mood - anticipating, dreading, carefree, worried, tired, energetic etc.

Before you start sketching try to identify the features in the subject that demonstrate that mood.. tilt of the head, tilt of the shoulder, eyebrow angle, smile, eye shape and size, etc.
Also think about how your strokes will carry out that mood.

Having those things in mind before you sketch will make your portraits more expressive.

08-12-2009, 12:18 AM
Hi, Bill,

Thank you for an excellent suggestion. The mood here was supposed to be "suicidal," but I think the eyes need more work. But I love your idea because I don't do that at present and see how it might benefit my work! THANK YOU.

08-12-2009, 02:11 AM
ahh, Hemingway ... a somewhat self inflicted tortured soul (totally enjoyed his 'islands in the mist')

at first glance i saw 'old king of 'ancient regal lands' because of the neck ware, but looking past that i do see mr H.

Bill's right, you do have a style already, that's good.

Faces are such a complicated mass of shapes and shadows that challenge and frustrate and inspire, i've yet to master their complexities. They do have to be one of the most enjoyable things in the world to try to figure out tho, hopefully endlessly!

Anyway, my point is, every artist has, will, or should - sketch eyes (yours are handy, get a mirror) ... another page of noses ... mouths ... ears ... they are all so complex i just shake my head at it sometimes! lol, the more i understand the structure of all of them in a scull the more in control of the outcome of the painting i become.

I wouldn't change this one either, other than to clarify whatever that is around his neck. I like the pensive look in his eyes, the mild severity, the seriousness of his jaw set and mouth. You've definitely captured emotions.


08-12-2009, 03:56 AM
La_...that's one of those big fuzzy sweaters he wore so often....?

Terri5....as the others typed.....don't change them.....redo them....it's only paper right?
so you can compare.....and learn from your own collection....
that means lots of drawings.....lots of posts.....hahaha......
I look forward to your next one......yd

08-15-2009, 10:30 AM
La, thank you so much for your very helpful comments! I feel that I'm getting so much encouragement and knowledge from this site (and from people like you), that it's a little staggering. I'm very grateful! Btw, that is one of those big, fuzzy sweaters Hemingway wore--it's clearer in the larger portrait that it's a sweater (I hope so, anyway).



08-15-2009, 10:31 AM
Thank you, Yard Dog! That might mean a LOT of posts, though!