Monday, October 19, 2009

Drawing Class - First Portrait

We had a live model to draw. She was a very attractive, young woman with the most beautiful big, dark eyes. She sat in a chair at the front of the room. The instructor had a spotlight and adjusted the lighting on the girl's face.

We had easels arranged in a semi-circle in front of the model. We were to draw her portrait. That's when a ripple of panic went through me. This was my first ever drawing class. The work method and the tools were so foreign to me. I've never drawn a live model, and I don't work standing up. Not usually. I work sitting at a drafting table. I sit on a tall stool so I am over my work usually a piece of paper small than 16" x 20". I work with various inks, paints, and pens. Here I was standing in front of a wall! (The 18" x24" drawing pad looked huge!)

After a few minutes of dithering, I got my trusty and comfortable, blue mechanical pencil and began making timid, light sketch marks. Then with a 4B graphite pencil tried to work on shape of her face. Oval but not too pointed at the chin, and not quite square. Add the eyes, nose, lips. Add shading for depth and to bring out the features.

We worked for an hour or so and then had a critique session. We talked about problems we had. I had lots of problems: depth perception, proportion, shading. Most recognized the drawing as looking sort of human. I was pleased with that. The class did like the way I drew her hair. Guess I could always specialize and draw hair. The eyes drew the biggest comments. The models eyes looked so big and dark to me. Someone said I made an emotional drawing.

At first, I did not like this drawing. But then it started growing on me. The large eyes remind me of the eyes drawn in anime (Japanese style comic book [manga]). My young woman looks moon face. Like some woman in the moon.

But I think I should go back to drawing pears.
Did you do something outside your comfort zone this week?


  1. I'm proud of you.

  2. Me too! You've braved a whole new world. And yay that you're taking the constructive criticism for what it is.

    Done anything outside my comfort zone? Nothing's coming to mind...will have to ruminate on that.

  3. Sounds like a really fun new experience! And it turned out great for your first attempt! I definitely like the eyes. That drew me to your picture even before I read your post!