Saturday, June 27, 2009

Critiquing Myself

The other day, I received my copy of Ann Kullberg's new book, "Colored Pencil Secrets for Success: How to Critique and Improve Your Paintings".

The reason that I bought this book, is because her book, "Colored Pencil Portraits" is one that really helped me to improve on my portraits. I still pull it out quite often to reference it while I'm working on a portrait. I would say that I have definitely gotten my money's worth out of that book. More than that, though, I got this book because I am always showing my work to my mom, and asking her to critique it for me. Someone else can always see something that you don't see. But, with this book, I hope to be able to learn to critique my own drawings, so that I don't always have to rely on my mom.

So, as a start....using a tip from the book, I have checked my cousin Greg's features and found where I am off.

If you look at all of the lines, you'll see that the red lines line up pretty well. The features seem to be placed correctly across his face. I think I may have his face a bit wide, so I might shave off some of his face on the left side of the drawing.

But take a look at the yellow lines. (You can see better if you click on the picture to view it larger). If you follow the lines across from the drawing to the reference photo (and I actually did this backwards, I should have had the photo on the left and the drawing on the right) you'll see that I have my cousin's eyes up to high. And his nose and his mouth are also placed slightly higher than in the photo.

So now I know what I need to do to correct the likeness of this cousin. I hope to have some time to work on it tomorrow, but we have to help my fiance's family move tomorrow, so I may not. I did, however, take a couple of days off next week, where I will try to catch some things up around the house, and this drawing should get some attention in that time. I'd like to finish it because my aunt is coming into town, and it would be nice for her to see it, and maybe take it home with her if her transportation allows.

On another wedding shoes came in! I ordered them from Famous Footwear (to assure that I would get a nice clean brand spanking new pair that had never been tried on before). Aren't they pretty???

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Now back to our regularly scheduled program!

I'm sorry that I took so long to update. I've been crazy busy. But I did a tiny bit of work on the portrait during the week. (Ok, all I did was add clouds, lol). Here is the update:

Now all that is left to do is their likenesses. Aunt Paula, if you're out there....feel free to let me know what you notice that's off, and I can fix it. It's a lot more helpful when other people tell you what they see wrong, than for me to see it myself when the drawing is staring me in the face all the time. I will try to work on this more. I miss my colored pencils. I just wish I had more time!

Anyway, when I took the reference pictures down from the clips, I noticed this:

Do you see it? That distinct line, darker blue on the right, lighter blue on the left? Well, that used to be an even shade of blue. I had the reference picture for my oldest cousin clipped there, and the easel happens to sit close to a window. This is a lightfast issue. Some of the colored pencils are not lightfast, and they fade when exposed to light. You do not want to hang colored pencil artwork in direct light. (Or any artwork, for that matter....)

But I just wanted to show you this as a good example. The portrait faded in just a little over a month. Now, had I not had that picture clipped to the board over the drawing, so that the whole picture faded, the fading would not have been noticeable, but I think it is still something to try and avoid. Luckily, I did plan to add clouds, so it wasn't that big a deal. This time. I will definitely be more careful in the future!