Thursday, February 24, 2011

Warming Up For Rachel Carson

I've heard and read artists and illustrators who can draw from life crowing about people who use photographic references. I'm here to tell you drawing from life and drawing from pictures are separate -- if related -- skills. My study of Rachel Carson for my Faces of Wisdom series, has given me fits. I just don't know how to draw from pictures. Picking up that skill is one point of the series.

There was an earlier study that I didn't include in this post. It used a different source photo, and was even further from being a likeness than the top drawing. The story of the drawings you see here is this:

Pencil underdrawing for the top study. It's interesting that I didn't realize how far from a likeness it was until I'd inked it. My hypothesis explaining that is that getting a likeness and recognizing one probably use different parts of the brain, parts that don't work at the same time. Okay, I said, if I'm not getting it, I'll use a crutch, and maybe learn something from the crutch. The crutch was a pair of compass dividers and a ruler. The grid or diagram you see below and to the right of the face is the measured layout for the final drawing, and you can see how I took the measurements on the source photo of Rachel Carson. Next you see me thinking out loud, below some quotes from Rob Hopkins. Next the measured layout for the final drawing. Then a quick try with a similar layout. Finally the pencil underdrawing for the finished product.

Tomorrow, Rachel Carson.

If you want to see some really great drawings from photographs, take a look at my friend Julie Rathmann's website.

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