Tag: Portraits 1 - 4 of 6 posts

from Portrait to Caricature

Posted Mar 2019

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

Event Entertainment for PARTY PLANNING Ideas in New York, Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County.....

You can click on some pictures in this blog to see them larger.
To Hire Caricature Artist Alison Gelbman:
(516) 579-4706
optidust@gmail.com



Revisiting Pencil Portraits

Posted Feb 2019

"Imperfect. And that's okay", I said. It's not like I'm being paid to draw this specific Portrait.

I used to make a lot of Portraits ~ Oil Paints, Pastels, and Pencils. Pencil Portraits. A long time ago. Before we all had computers.

My initial learning involved gridding. But then I figured ~ why work so hard ~ I started to trace the Reference Photo. Then fill in the values ~ carefully ~ using a gray-scale. I got great results. Very accurate.

Then computers came out. Not only could I have easily printed out the lines easier than tracing them, I could have even had the computer find the lines For me. And I think I could have even just told the Computer to affect the photo as though it was a Pencil Sketch (or Pastel or Oil Paint), and then print that out. But why would anyone want me to do that for them? So I switched to Caricatures ~ because, when well done, a Caricature needs the Artist's interpretation.

Tonight ~ wanting to take a break from my constant Caricature endeavors, I decided to revisit simple Pencil Portraits. No cheating. No printing, no tracing, no reference scale. Just drawing. Because that's what I wanted to do.

I used a photo of a man that I recently posted at my website as Reference ~ because I could still find a slightly larger file in my Computer's trash. I put the photo into PhotoShop, turned it upside down, and sort of started to copy the shapes ~ while guessing at values at the same time. Carelessly. I was figuring that I didn't care if it didn't look like him. It was just to feel the pencil making shapes. Just for 1/2 hour.

At the end of the 1/2 hour, I felt surprised at just how badly it turned out. I barely laid in some values ~ not surprised that I didn't get time to 'round them out' in only 1/2 hour, but it didn't look anything like him.

I do like doing puzzles ~ so I could see myself doing the fill-in-the-blanks type of Pencil Portraits that I used to do. But I didn't feel like it tonight.

So I smudged the whole thing together. And I dropped the Upside Down thing, and spent lol Another 1/2 Hour redrawing this right-side-up. Came out better.

I'm figuring that that Upside Down drawing thing was just an exercise for teaching that we're drawing shapes ~ not noses and boats and houses. Just triangles and ellipses and t'hat other shape'. I certainly don't need to learn that anymore. I know that. So I decided to apply real Art to my creative process. Copying the shapes right side up ~ with my Impression.

Now I know why we 'waste our time' doing this sort of stuff. It felt good to let the drawing harness my mind. I really got into it. Maybe I'll give myself the luxury of continuing this drawing later.

And if I decide to do this again, I'm hoping I'll leave the White areas white. Lifting them out with an eraser is torture

Follow Up the next day ~ I spent another half hour on this Self-Imposed Review. Pencil Sketch. I wished I had started it more carefully. What I learned is that there are good reasons why we learn to do things the way we do them.

Follow Up the next next day ~ I wished I had made the 'eyeglasses' bigger ~ just slightly would make it 'look like his glasses' ~ not exaggerated, but if I had paid attention to That ~ what Felt right to me ~ it would have affected all the Other shapes that built off of it.

Now I'm not interested in continuing this particular picture ~ because it's too much trouble to move such dark lines with such crummy erasers.

Event Entertainment for PARTY PLANNING Ideas in New York, Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County.....

You can click on some pictures in this blog to see them larger.
To Hire Caricature Artist Alison Gelbman:
(516) 579-4706
optidust@gmail.com



Shiny Materials

Posted Oct 2018

My house has piles and piles of papers all over it just now. Even much more than it usually has ~ never thought that was possible. But I needed work done on the heating system, so the plumber needs access to All the radiators at one time. Including the one that (used to be but im getting new shelves build so it wouldn't obliterate the radiator anymore) is in my Studio. Where I had folders of all the kinds of papers that I pre-prepared for gigs.

I used to do a Lot of Portraits and Alla Prima Paintings (I love Oil Paints). But many years ago, I threw out a room-full of those Paintings because I needed the space for my Party Caricatures. And now that we're tearing apart the whole space egads egads, more old Paintings are surfacing. Intriguing me.

Like this one. I remember what I was doing at that time. This was just a study of a Shiny Cup ~ because I wanted to understand how to make my Portraits Glow. Crudely done, but I like it. Especially the base of the cup and the little plate that it is on

Event Entertainment for PARTY PLANNING Ideas in New York, Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County.....

You can click on some pictures in this blog to see them larger.
To Hire Caricature Artist Alison Gelbman:
(516) 579-4706
optidust@gmail.com



Artist Behind the Scene

Posted Mar 2018

Still into Basics. I drew Pencil Portrait Hair from the photo of woman in yesterday's Excellent Caricature post.

At first, I felt like I forgot how to do Pencil Portraits. But then, my Pencil Lines started turning into Hair. It was all I could do to put down my pencil (for a while) and get back to the jobs that I have here in the Studio.

Event Entertainment for PARTY PLANNING Ideas in New York, Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County.....

You can click on some pictures in this blog to see them larger.
To Hire Caricature Artist Alison Gelbman:
(516) 579-4706
optidust@gmail.com