22 April 2009

Portraits from Photos IV

Just posting a few practice head drawings today. These are from photos shot by Richard Avedon and published in his autobiography. I really like drawing weathered, mature faces. There's so much going on, rhythms are more obvious, edges are harder, and all those creases...just so much more interesting than a young, smooth face. The challenge here was the lack of strong directional lighting, but that also gave me a chance to interpret the images, which I need to practice more.

One thing that helps my drawings alot is to add variety whenever I can. That means lost-and-found edges, uneven shading, adding blemishes and bumps, and introducing a little chaos occasionally. Seems to be a common beginner's mistake to make things too smooth and even, leading to some really awful results.

It took about 3 hours for each drawing, using Conte charcoal pencils on smooth newsprint.

Top: Samuel Beckett, writer 2009, 16x12, charcoal on newsprint
Bottom: Vladimir Horowitz, pianist 2009, 16x12, charcoal on newsprint