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Portrait drawings critique

Artworks by Johnnie Smith Jr

Hi, I am 62 years old. I have no professional ART Training. I have tried to learn from books and videos. I would appreciate some feedback on my drawings.

Portrait drawings critique

Portrait drawings critique

Portrait drawings critique

Portrait drawings critique

Portrait drawings critique

Thank you for your time
Johnnie

How to achieve high likeness in portrait drawing

Feedback from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy tutor

Dear Johnnie,

Many thanks for your portrait drawings.

I like your portraits and am sure that you managed to capture the models’ likeness as well. Great job.

There are some things you can improve – constructive drawing and pencil line quality.

When drawing portraits, there is a misconception that by accurately depicting facial features like eyes, nose, and mouth an artist can make a realistic portrait and achieve high likeness.

This might be so, but in most cases a beginner forgets to “build” the head constructively, apply proportions and anatomy. This results in inevitable mistakes like one eye placed higher than the other, asymmetry of the face, one ear bigger than the other, disproportionate noses, and so on.

I will explain why making constructive drawing of big masses is critical in portrait drawing. Imagine that you’re building a house. It would be premature to insert window frames and install electric features before the foundation is put in place and walls have been erected.

The same in drawing – should you draw eyes and mouth without defining properly the proportions of big skull shapes and volumes, you can easily misplace those features.

There is a certain step-by-step sequence of constructive drawing an artist can follow to “build” portraits. This sequence is described and demonstrated in multiple Drawing Academy video lessons.

Here are a couple of lessons on how to draw a head in a three-quarter view step by step:

http://drawingacademy.com/how-to-draw-a-portrait

http://drawingacademy.com/how-to-draw-a-portrait-in-the-three-quarters-view

Now, about quality of lines.

There is a feeling that a pencil in your hand is not a continuation of your mind that makes marks as intended, but a tool that you have some challenges to control. This is especially apparent in rendering hair.

There’s no other way to improve your pencil-handling skills other than practicing various pencil strokes for hours.

Please check Chapter 11 of this video lesson – Rendering tonal values:
http://drawingacademy.com/help-i-cant-draw

Once again, thank you for your drawings.

Keep drawing from life, do sketches and long drawings.

To your creative success,

Vladimir London
Drawing Academy tutor

To learn human anatomy fast, visit the Anatomy Master Class »

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Categorized: Critique My Artworks

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Johnnie Smith Jr says:

    Thank you so much for your feedback, what a joy to receive such helpful information. God bless you and thank you for being so attentive to your students!

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