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Old 07-01-2011, 01:59 AM
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Portrait Challenge for July/August!

We decided this month to do some portraiture from casts and other sculptures. I know I have a tendency, and many of you do, too, to draw and paint in "line" rather than form. Following subtle shifts in light and dark areas of faces is one of those things we all need to know more about.

So we decided on a semi-atelier technique of doing art from these sculptures and
casts that Kevin has posted, and a couple of color photos I found that we can do as a reward for getting our tonal values better!

It's a joint effort: Moderators and Guides for Portraiture will be helping with this thread, especially if it runs into August.

Remember to avoid lines and concentrate on form as you go! If you start with a soft cheek value and compare it to other values you will build, it will help in whatever style or medium you like best. Features aren't flat, and let's try to give our best effort to the difficut work of making a two-dimesional surface look like three!


These are all from the west wing of the Washington, DC National Gallery..
















an oldy from GCA's cast collection..

and..
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Last edited by NancyMP : 07-01-2011 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:16 AM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!



This next one is so good for depth and with (tada!) color! It's called "Ron Muecke Mask II," a self-portrait of the sleeping artist, and it's in a London museum.



I hope you enjoy!
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:30 AM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Nancy & the rest of the team, I will probably sketch all of them. Very nice collection of photos! I have never seen sculpture with eyes, was quite surprised when looked on the first three photos. Thanks for the great post.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:09 AM
venetian_red venetian_red is offline
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Very nice! I love Ron Mueck's work, it's really amazing all of the details you can see up close. I think I will start with something a little simper though. I probably wont start till next week, but would it be alright to post WIPs to get feedback as I go along?

Edit: Oh I also meant to ask, what size would be good for drawing some of these? I think I tend to work too small at times... Would 6"x7.5" be too small?
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Last edited by venetian_red : 07-01-2011 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:22 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Quote:
Originally Posted by asarkis
Nancy & the rest of the team, I will probably sketch all of them. Very nice collection of photos! I have never seen sculpture with eyes, was quite surprised when looked on the first three photos. Thanks for the great post.

Hi, Anna! Most of the sculptures I've seen with eyes are not painted in, but were indicated with an indented area for the iris, and a deeper indent in the middle for the pupil.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:32 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Sarah, it's not only all right, but encouraged to post WIPs for comment! The size you mention is adequate, and I would only recommend you go with a size that's comfortable for you. You might want to do the first ones fairly small so that you can keep your eyes moving between your lighter and darker values. Then if you feel like it, you can gradually increase the size as you grow more confident. (Unless you really don't like working larger!)

I also wanted to suggest one way to do tones rather than lines: Instead of drawing with pencil or charcoal, one might use charcoal and pastel with a swab or a brush. For the more liquid mediums, keep your surface dampened to help the tones blend into one another.

And as Kevin says: Always save any details for the very last!
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:28 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Great challlenge!!!!Thank you Nancy and Mods!!!

Luicre
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Old 07-02-2011, 12:07 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Nancy, I have got two print outs from the two first refs. I have got two larger ones and two smaller ones. Now I have to get my set up and I am thinking about it because I don`t have an easel.


I have no idea how to work avoiding the lines but I will try .

I love the littel girl sculpture but I am going to start with the first two, which I think are different angles from the same sculpture, and I can see some pretty good shapes.

Thank you!!

Luicre
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:43 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

I've been hoping for a cast challenge. Now we have it! Thanks Nancy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by luicre
I have no idea how to work avoiding the lines but I will try.
Luicre, same here! I don't know either.

I like the little girl too. I started already drawing her a couple of times but no success so far. Cast is very tough to draw. I got an older lady look.
I will be back and continue trying in the mid of August after the summer vacations. Until then ..
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:44 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Wow Nance just what this girl needs ~love the heads will give a couple a shot somewhere along the way , cheers to you girl for hosting, YOU ARE SOLID my lady!!!


Quote:
I have no idea how to work avoiding the lines but I will try

what is meant by that ~, you can use a dry brushing technique, to slowly build up your tones ...also another way is making your tonal vartiations in strength of lines crosshatching then blending it very gently with a dry medium brush!
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:48 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

I'm glad you all like our Picks (Pics ?) for the coming July and August Challenge! Nancy and I will be teaming up for this next challenge with great support from Bethany, Lauren and Dana Design. Almost all of the cast/sculpture figures you see here are from the National Gallery in Washington, DC ( my hometown). A few are from the met and one is from the GRand Central Academy in NYC.

Casts are, in fact, easier to draw than real humans as they are in many ways "designed" and Idealized. If we could, we would loan out the real thing to each of our for your practice but then I would ( or Nancy) probably be in jail for museum theft!

It might be useful to take my neutral Munsell Scale of 9 values ( plus Neutral Black and White), print it out and consider where values sit in your reference before you begin so you can plan out your drawing ( shapes) and in particular, the value map for your drawing ( lightest, highlights, middle tones, terminator, cast shadows etc). for purposes of any discussion here, we will use Munsell notation for value, where a 1 is the value to the right of black and 9 is the value just to the left of pure white.



I will begin a cast study shortly and will post progress shots if that can be of help in how you might begin your cast ( or Mount Rushmore/Ron Meuck) study!

Kevin
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:10 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinwueste
Casts are, in fact, easier to draw than real humans as they are in many ways "designed" and Idealized. If we could, we would loan out the real thing to each of our for your practice but then I would ( or Nancy) probably be in jail for museum theft!

That's all I need now, Kevin, jail time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinwueste
It might be useful to take my neutral Munsell Scale of 9 values ( plus Neutral Black and White), print it out and consider where values sit in your reference before you begin so you can plan out your drawing ( shapes) and in particular, the value map for your drawing ( lightest, highlights, middle tones, terminator, cast shadows etc). for purposes of any discussion here, we will use Munsell notation for value, where a 1 is the value to the right of black and 9 is the value just to the left of pure white.



I will begin a cast study shortly and will post progress shots if that can be of help in how you might begin your cast ( or Mount Rushmore/Ron Meuck) study!

Kevin

Another way if your printer doesn't print accurately, (sometimes mine is too light or dark!) is to keep a copy of the above Munsell scale on your computer for reference.

I'm glad you're taking part in this, Luicre, Moscatel and Sandra! I usually do oil, but I thought I might try my Pan Pastels for some of these!
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:29 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Nance , its drawing you know Im there , but Im not using oils I will stick to graphite etc for this ... but your pan-pastels will be lovely Im sure ..!!Im guessing to - as no mentioned paper on this , Im using Strathmores drawing 130gsm
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:55 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

Kevin -- thanks for posting up your values chart!

Folks, making your own values chart (in either charcoal or graphite, if that is what you are using for your study) is a great idea. It's a great exercise in even shading and also in looking and learning how to see values. It's a real skill that I need to learn better, so I welcome these cast drawings!
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:56 PM
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Re: Portrait Challenge for July/August!

I have a question before I begin. I was planning to use grey coloured pencils for this exercise. I have warm and cool greys 1-6 so I was planning to pick one set to use, and I think I could vary the pressure and layer to get other values. But does this defeat the purpose with the value scales etc? Would it be better to use a graphite pencil? I guess it probably doesn't matter too much, but I would like to get as much as possible from this exercise. Thanks!

Edit: Oh and thank you Nancy for responding to me earlier I'm glad that posting WIPs will be encouraged. I really look forward to getting feedback from everyone here!
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