Charcoal Portrait Demo

Live Class recording:

Here are some of the rhythms of the face I kept in mind while structuring this portrait.

Some of the important ideas we touched upon throughout the demo:

  • shadow is atmosphere and light is form – don’t over-sculpt your shadows
  • as humans we are only able to focus on one eye when looking at a person due to human optics, I like to reflect it in my work.
  • when drawing from live, having a structural framework is crucial because the model moves. I find comparative measurement way more practical then sight-size in a live drawing environment.
  • lastly, we raised a super interesting topic during the demo. Someone asked me “why would you work from a live model”? Frankly, I’ve never been asked this question before.
    I am used to answering this question in reverse. I draw from photos because most of my clients don’t have time to sit that long (and I do take very very long), my kids move too much, and models are expensive to invite to my studio every time I draw… you get the idea.
    But why would I choose a live model over a photo … that’s a great question. I guess, the goal of my work is always to capture the character of my subject. I strive to express that enigmatic core, the soul, the feeling of the person I draw. It goes beyond the photo and the visual likeness. There is an element of magic to this … (I speak about it in my artist statement … So with this goal in mind, it is somewhat helpful to have the person actually present in front of you, even tho it makes the actual process harder. Live people move 🙂

    What do you think? Do you prefer drawing from photos or live models or maybe you prefer plein-air? I would love to hear what you think.
Do you prefer drawing from photos or live and why?x

Please leave me you honest review whether you joined live or watched the recording:

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