I have a fear of faces. Of drawing them in a realistic fashion, that is. I am never pleased with the results I get. Take, for example, the portrait above. I drew it last night from a photo of my mother-in-law as a young girl. It is okay, I guess, but it looks nothing like her. I think the eyes are too big, or the head too small. And the eyes are too high on the head; there needs to be more forehead. The proportions are all wrong. The nose is crooked. The hair is unnatural. And does the shading make her look like she has a five-o’clock shadow? Egads.
I know I need to just buckle down and study the subject, but I never seem to make/take the time. This wouldn’t be much of a problem, except that I have a piece in my head that I want to make, and it has a face in it. I think I need to face my fear.
Years ago, I bought a very good book called The Fundamental of Drawing Portraits: A Practical and Inspirational Course by Barrington Barber. I could work my way through this.
I’ve been inspired by the approach taken by Lyric Kinard, which she details in a recent post on The Sketchbook Challenge. Basically, she decided to draw a face a day for a year. She showed enormous progress.
And I’ve drooled over the soulful portraits by Pam Carriker. She offers an online course called Pursuing Portraits that I’d love to take.
If you have taught yourself to draw realistic portraits, what approach have you taken? If you have suggestions, let me know… I think this is a fear I have to face soon.