drawing & painting portraits

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Drawing and Painting Portraits with a Likeness

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  • 1. Creating Portraits that look like the person you are drawing or painting Norman F. Simms Artist and Teacher 215-267-585-3571Little E (Mom) Pastel on Toned Paper

2. There are 4 things that you need to know in order to create a successful portraiture and they are: 1. Learn to create an Accurate Contour Look at the Negative Shapes (Shapes outside of the face) and the Positive Shapes (Shapes bordering the outer edges of the face).This is your foundation and if it is incorrect, then all of your other efforts will also be inaccurate. 2. Define the Shadow Shapes Amateurs will draw the eyes, lips and other features first this is a enormous mistake - this is like placing light fixtures in a room with no walls, you should define the structure of the head with light and shadow first before adding details. 3. Learn and Become Aware of the parts of the Face Anatomy Being Unaware of the parts of the Face Anatomy will cause you to neglect part of the facial features when rendering the face, causing the face to appear flat and lacking realism. 4. Practice,Practice and More Practice 2 3. Successful artist are constantly comparing and changing things that do not look or feel right. The ability to revise and correct your artwork is an essential skill for creating fine works of art. In this presentation I am only going to concentrate on the face, consisting of the: 1. Skull 2. Muscles 3. Flesh and 4. its Features But, first I am going to tell you the Secret behind creating a likeness, which consist of the following two elements which are: 1. Accurate Contour and 2. Shadow Shapes Reminisce Oil on Canvas 3 4. When drawing the head you should always concentrate on the contours and blocking in the larger shapes. The larger shapes are NOT the individual features, but the darks and lights that are projected on the face. The darks (shadow shapes) will create a likeness. Notice that in the drawing on the left that there are no features (eyes, lips, nose, and ear) rendered. We identify individuals by their contour and shadow shapes. Before adding the details of the eyes nose and so on, the likeness must already be evident. Sketch Thinned Oil on Canvas 4 5. The human Skull determines the overall shape and proportion of the head. The Skull is divided into Two Parts - Cranium & Mandible. Mandible (lower Jaw & Chin) Superciliary Arch -bony ridge below the eyebrows Calvaria Round cap of the skull Zygomatic bone known as the cheekbone Cranium The whole skull, except for the Jaw Bone 5 6. Physiognomy is the Character and Facial Expression that are influence by the Muscles. Seven facial muscles that a portrait artist should know are: 1. Frontalis 2. Temporalis 3. Orbicularis oculi 4. Zygomatic 5. Lavators 6. Orbicularis oris 7. Depressors Frontalis Temporalis Zygomatic Lavators Orbicularis oris Depressors Orbicularis oculi The Flesh (Skin) covering the muscle and bone structure also has a texture depending on the gender and age of the subject. Character Study Charcoal on Charcoal Paper 6 7. The under-painting should be laid with thin paint and have a limited amount of colors.The purpose of this stage is to be able to see any incorrect proportions and contours. Masterful Drawings are done by being able to correct yourself. Doing an under-painting is best time to do corrections. Once the under-painting is corrected then the features (ear, eyes, and so on) can be more defined. Under-painting Defining the Ear Defining the Eye 7 8. Practice,PracticePastel Paintings 8 9. And More PracticeOil Painting 9 10. Summary 1. Defining the contour and shadow shapes, as well as being aware of a few anatomy features will give you the ability to create a likeness. 2. Understanding the bones and muscle that are closest to the skin will help the artist define realism within the face. 3. Practice,for this is a form of visual communication. Learning to look, see and record the things that you are seeing is an art.This requires many hours and years of practice. Purpose of this presentation As society decides to remove the arts from our schools, I feel obligated to expose some of my lifetime learning on to the young or anyone who is interested in experimenting with this craft. It is more intimate and a bit more challenging than just taking a photo. Still the rewards of creating a portrait will be priceless for you, and for whomever is the recipient of such a wonderful collection of art. I hope this was a help to someone 10