Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Portraits- structure

 It has been a while since my last post. I- was hoping to do more work on my still-life but I have been getting ready for my 4-week portrait session and it has taken a lot of my time, so I think I will say a word or two about the way to go about starting a portrait from life or even a photo. Actually doing a still-life is great structure study for doing portraiture.

It is a good idea to consider structure whether you are a well-established portrait painter or just starting out. The skull is a good place to start. if you have access to a good reproduction than by all means, draw it in charcoal or paint it. I personally like to do periodic studies of different views of the skull
skull study-3/4 view

I have a friend who leant me his skull for a week so I did two studies- here is one of them. In a study like this- it makes you realize how large the eye sockets are and that your whole eye fits in it.
Notice- that the eye sockets take up a large part of the face. One actually sees a lot of the skull in a portrait: the forehead, the cheekbones and the chin area to mention the more obvious ones.

so when one is starting a portrait you want to keep this structure in mind. Here is my friend Jean who modeled for my last portrait class. Notice - I started with raw umber and followed the lines of structure as much as possible. I always start with the darks.

In my next post I will review proportions and show you the next stage of the portrait.
Jean- raw umber underpainting

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