Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Drawings of people

Drawing people is much more difficult for me than still life. If the shape of a bottle is a little off, it doesn't matter as much as a slight change in the shape of someone's chin. One of the reasons I really got into photography around the same time that I was drawing a lot of these was that being into realism, I would get really frustrated when things didn't come out just as they looked. While drawing things just as they look can be a good exercise, it seems sort of tedious when you can do almost the same thing in an instant with a camera.

As you can see from this drawing of my friend Lu, even though the technical parts of it are pretty good, I got the shape of her chin a little wrong, so she looks slightly like a caveperson or something.

While it doesn't seem like it would be a big deal, it was really the only thing anyone noticed when I showed them this drawing. The shape of the chin really detracts from the overall piece. This typically doesn't happen with a photo (and if it does, you probably have ten other photos that look exactly like it that you can replace it with).

Because I was frustrated by how distracting the chin was, I want to take this opportunity (thanks to the wonder of photos) to zoom in on a couple of parts of this drawing, which I worked very hard on, so that they can be viewed in the absence of the oddly shaped chin.

Personally, I am always kind of amazed that a pencil can create so many different shades.

In the next one, I want to point out the fabric scarf that she is wearing on her head, and the light hairs that are being hit by the sun against the hammock. I wonder if these things are noticeable when you are looking at it as a whole.

Here is one more drawing of a friend, this one is my friend Donna. She's actually supposed to be lying in a stream.

These are the only two drawings of such detailed portraits that I can ever remember doing. They are on the first two pages of a large sketchbook. This first one is dated july 22, 2002, and the second, september 12, 2003. They are the only two things in this particular sketchbook. I don't have a good explanation for why.

1 comment:

Amy said...

The first one is really great, and the chin didn't seem so bad to me. Perhaps because I don't know your friend? And the small details of the drawing are apparent in the whole, but I love the detail crops.

You are really very talented.

(Adam agrees.)

PS This morning I was showing June your picture on the refrigerator. She would point at you in each of the four little frames.