The seventh drawing of the evening was a 15 minute pose. As I worked on the previous sketches, I noticed that I tend to work left to right across the page ( I am right handed). This means I would usually begin with shoulder, and then the arms, head, torso, face, then legs. I do not construct figures like artists who were trained. On the one hand, I can draw faster since I do not have to constantly “measure” the subject with my eyes and build up pencil marks to adjust the planes of the figure being drawn. On the other, I am more likely to draw things out of proportion, especially if the figure is in a pose with outstretched limbs…. I will wind up elongating arms, legs, and torso. Usually its not THAT terrible – its not like I am making the subjects freakish, just not as true as I would like. The worst thing though is having everything set, but then finding out the head is out of scale, or the face does not fit right into the oval shaped head. That is when it really looks bad, and you erase and the paper just gets ratty.
By the time I drew this pose, I had switched to drawing the face first, then the head, shoulders, arms, torso and finally legs. Less mistakes, and even if you cant seem to get things working and you scuff the paper with too much erasing, you are free to move over a bit and rework the face.
Here, I drew her nose first, which was a little hooked, and with the war paint all over her face a bit harder to get details and proper scale from. then came the lips and chin.
And then came the eyes.
By some miracle, that eye came out perfect (at least in my opinion). Mind you, in reality her iris is the size of the head of a pin (the drawing… not the real girl!). What is so great is that the pencil line left that hair’s width of white space in just the right spot, mimicking the reflection of light in one’s eye- the key to giving “life” to a drawn face. I actually slightly recoiled when I saw how it came out. I simply love the way her face looks- it goes beyond a simple sketch and to my eye actually shows emotion. the word forlorn comes to mind. In fact I like this so much I used it in this blog’s header.
Its funny, but I consider that little face (which if cut out of the paper is the size of my thumbnail) to be one of the best things I’ve drawn in years.