Saturday, June 26, 2010

Anatomy of a Portrait

Today as protesters were pillaging Downtown Toronto, I decided to do something I have not done in a while..a self portrait. Unfortunately, all the life drawing classes I wished to attend were canceled due to the Summit. Even though I was tempted to go downtown and draw some of the chaos, things turned nastier as the day progressed, so I stayed put.

An art instructor of mine at U of T a long time ago, once thought my pencil crayon pieces were more like paintings than drawings. So, I thought I would scan in various stages of my process to demonstrate that there is very much a drawing element to this process. I try to be conscious of the various anatomical relationships, plane changes and structure. Where the drawing is like painting is how I apply the color. The "underpainting" so to speak, serves as a foundation for the other hues involved. I build up layers of color to give the subject more luminosity and variegation. One thing that remains a constant in my portraits is my severe expression. I am concentrating intensely on what I am doing and it seems to translate into the final product.

I had two light sources for this study. A warm lamp and some cool ambient light from a window further away.
As a result, there are a few subtle blues introduced into an otherwise warm and "peachy" color scheme. Now that I am done, I think maybe I can have taken a "dirtier" approach to hues involved. The intensity of the color is a little much, not quite naturalistic and gives me something to think about for the next time.

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