I’m always trying to improve my skills at drawing, painting, photography, music, you name it. So when one of my favorite art-related bloggers posed me a challenge, I had to accept.
Shelley Wilson, over at Shelley Wilson Art challenged me to take one of her black and white portrait photographs and identify the lines I could see, as she did in her recent post Drawing of Brooke – Phase I.
I started to draw the lines for the challenge, but ended up going much further. Once I had the lines drawn on the image, and then sketched onto a sheet of paper, it was an open invitation to fill the page. I limited myself to one hour, so that I forced myself to move on from one line to the next, from one shadow to another. I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by the amount of time required to get everything perfect the first time – this is more of a mental exercise than anything else.
After one hour, I’d say I made some pretty amazing progress! I’ve never been able to sketch a face so accurately before. True, the proportions are slightly off, and I’m still having trouble with the eyes, but I’m thoroughly shocked at how easy it was to draw when I had the guidelines on the page.
During the time I was sketching, I was not focused on drawing a face. Instead, my focus was on the angle of the shadow at the corner of a mouth, or the direction of the wrinkles around the eye. Everything tied back into those lines I first sketched on the page, rather than “this is what a mouth should look like” or “this is the angle of a cheek”.
I definitely need more practice, but I’m very happy with the results. Thanks again to Shelley for her excellent posts, and for challenging me beyond my artistic comfort zone!