Practicing Portraiture

portrait drawing in graphite

I just finished up my final final, final presentation, and final group paper for my last class as a marketing M.S. at the University of South Florida. That, coupled with the fact that I work in politics, and have been slammed with the election have made this one of the busiest months of my life!

While I did make time to seek respite in the garden, my other passion, art, had to get put on the back burner. Well, now that graduate school and the election are pretty much in the rear-view mirror, I picked up an online class on cold wax portraiture with Marina Teding van Berkhout (TvB). I just love her abstract style through building up layers and her lovely personality… very calming and self-assured.

So happy to relax through meditative drawing. In this first exercise, I use only graphite and practice drawing facial features. First an eye, then a mouth, and finally, I drew a photo I found on the internet. I selected on that had a strong contrast chiaroscuro because I really wanted to implement the entire value range through the lightest lights and the darkest shadows.

In order to paint, one really needs to practice drawing what you see and not what you think you see. These images were totally freehand though I have fun trying out my artist’s proportional scale divider for the eye and lips drawings.

This was my first practice exercise for this class that I drew in my journal (I forgot about my shading stubs and just used my finger!). Once you take a photo, you can always see where you need improvement. The idea is to just get started and DO IT!

eye drawing in graphite
eye drawing in graphite

Then, I drew lips.

lips in graphite
lips in graphite

Then, finally, I drew a random portrait I found online. Even just this little bit of practice has helped me improve. So, please find different facial features and just draw. You’ll be glad you did!

portrait drawing in graphite
portrait drawing of young woman in graphite
graphit drawing of woman
loose graphite drawing of woman
ukrainian woman graphite
perhaps the least pleasing of the lot; however, i did learn from this (nose too long, eyes too big and high) and used it as a prototype for my first portrait painting in this class; ukrainian woman graphite

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