I'm sorry! I planned on making a nice Pencil Portrait of this beautiful, smooth, normal-looking girl ~ a lovely girl that I Caricatured at a recent Party. But alone in my Studio, time off, I ended up playing around with the Shapes. The real girl isn't crazy. And she doesn't look crazy. But we can do these sorts of things when we're drawing pictures. Art is Play.
I'm thinking that the reason for doing our own linework/placements for 'Realistic' Pencil Portraits might be because we would see the needed 'exaggerations' when the linework doesn't look right. So it's a way to determine what makes the drawing look like this unique face.
I started this as a New Pencil Portrait. Using an excellent reference Photo from a recent Party ~ Where I Caricatured this lovely girl. Because it was still at 4,000 pixels ~ which makes a big difference when you want to see details.
And this time I decided to get the basic linework right before going in with the shading. Making Sure to Leave Out the Highlights because that's better than erasing i wish i was working in oil paint but i don't feel like taking That out. Anyway I gave myself 1/2 Hour to work on this Pencil Portrait. I didn't get far.
I made 3 Starts in that 1/2 Hour. (I tried to make them Darker in PhotoShop so I could post them here.) I loved the likeness in the first one, but it's too big. I feel like Portraits look grotesque if we make them too big ~ unless we're drastically Simplifying the shapes. So I did the linework a 2nd time. Still too big ~ because I approached it the same way. Quickly aborted that attempt, and did the linework a 3rd time. It's a better size, but the 'face' should be longer.
I used my eraser to adjust that.
Then I decided to Change my Approach. Simplify. I spent another 1/2 hour determining the placements ~ bouncing off the Basic Face Proportions of some mystical 'average' face. I didn't trace. I didn't grid. Because I wanted to Experience this for real. Which is why I got away from 'Portraiting'.
But I did print out the Reference Photo in B/W. 8 1/2 x 11.
This did two things. It made it more likely that I might draw Smaller (a little?) on my 11 x 17 paper. And it made it possible to determine my values using my own homemade value scale.
I know I started out to make a Portrait, but I couldn't stop noticing the upturn of the 'eye' that was in front of my left hand. So I decided to do this modeled Portraity Style of Caricature.
I tuned the renegade eye almost vertical. Then I decided to flip it over altogether. I made the lips curvier and wider, front teeth bigger. I carefully determined my lights and darks.
I looked at it. Decided that the lower part of the face got too narrow ~ making the 12 year old girl look too old. So before blending and developing, I widened it out.
Then I started the fun part of this process.
I spent another 1/2 hour blending it out and developing the shapes. Ooooh ~ I didn't want to stop. But I'm trying to get in the habit of sleeping at night. So I had to cut my drawing time short. Picture unfinished
The Next Next Afternoon:
Shouldn't I be working on my taxes?? But no. Here I am again. For 1/2 Hour. Because I saw this unfinished Caricature here.
Dagnabbit. Is 1/2 Hour up already?
I really Need to Do Nothing for 1/2 now before going to the Dentist. Maybe I'll bring this project along with me to the dentist.
ad then that Night:
at Starbucks ~ I choose to call this Caricature finished.
I liked drawing it, but I don't like looking at it. I'm wondering if perhaps this is Not the best approach for Caricatures (although I'd feel glad to do it again if anyone ever orders a Caricature to be drawn like a Pencil Portrait).
Wondering if I can lol Wondering if I can stick to Portraiting if I feel like doing this sort of drawing again
You can click on some pictures in this blog to see them larger.
To Hire Caricature Artist Alison Gelbman: