More digital painting on the Surface Pro, working from a live model over 2 hours or so, and using Autodesk Sketch.
Most of the work (and what really decides if a portrait works or not) is the first 10 minutes, drawing as quick and as fast as I can to get the features in place, before I get distracted by details. And if I’d been working for longer, I might have tried to capture the model’s amazing multi-coloured dreads
When I bought a Surface Pro I romantically imagined drawing directly to the screen as I traveled; drinking in cafes by the Seine, jet-setting through airports and all that. And, this will be feasible eventually, digital sketching turns out to be just as much hard work as any other way of drawing. Just a little less messy.
Working in a new medium is always a mix of lovely and awful. I’ve been taking the tablet to a weekly drawing portrait group I attend for a couple of months now. While still mild torture (I miss you charcoal) the processing is slowly becoming fun-ish.
After much practicing with different programmes, I settled on Autodesk’s Sketchbook as having the best interface for drawing live. Photoshop is just too fiddly for quick brush changes and such with out a keyboard, and Sketchbook lets you work in layers (so an under sketch to paint over is possible), as well as having a interface easy to manage with just a pen, a nice selection of so-called natural media brushes available anda fair amount of control over how they perform.
Here’s a couple of examples, each about 1 1/2 hours drawing time, from live models.
Hmm, even at life drawing classes, when there’s a whole person to draw, I seem to be most enjoying just drawing the face at the moment. The model today had a nicely classical sort of profile, with one of those scrubby little beards that are so irritating to draw quickly.
Charcoal on A3 brown paper, 15 min sketch
My plan today was to finish the ink dot drawing started last week. But I arrived just slightly too late to get the same spot in the room. Instead, here’s a charcoal pencil portrait of the same bold-featured (and so interesting to draw) model, from a different angle.
This is probably about half done, but the same model will be back next week, so I’ll hopefully get the other half done too*. Fibre pen, approx 2 hours.
* Note to self: turn up early enough to be able to chose the same seat
Foolishly or otherwise, I have signed up to do a project in this year’s 100 Days Project. So, here we are Day One, Drawing One. Not nearly finished, but certainly at least started.
This week, the wrong side.
The friendly portrait group I draw with for a couple of hours most weeks is often nearly full by the time I arrive. This means the spots that have a full or three-quarter view of the model are usually all taken. I don’t mind at all. The very first drawings I remember being fascinated by enough to try and copy when I was a child were profile studies, by the likes Holbein, the Egyptians and Aztecs, and Regency silhouettes. I like drawing people in a way they rarely see themselves, but is so distinctly them.
However, I realised yesterday that I have a habit of usually sitting on the side of the room that gives me a left-looking profile. The only seat available yesterday was on the other side, and it was weirdly difficult to get my brain to drawn an accurate right-looking profile. So, note to self . . .
Black and white charcoal and white ink, on A3 brown paper, 2 hours