Monday, 17 December 2018

Hair and beards! Portrait drawing prep before painting, graphite.

Sometimes I will see a wonderful face, in the street, in a shop - even singing in a choir!, and I know I'd LOVE to paint it. 

The first time it happened,  over twenty years ago, it was a young woman with her mother, quietly browsing in a book shop in Rye, East Sussex. She had milky-white skin and very long, burnt orange wavy hair. She ALREADY looked like a painting. But I was too shy to approach her, and have regretted it ever since. So now, I just go for it, and politely compliment the person on their interesting 'head' (I notice that I tell them I like their head. Rather than 'face'), and would it be ok to draw them? So far so good, its always been a YES! 

Soft tones showing the gentle textures on the skin. 

On a recent trip to Bath and Wells, there was a lovely-looking gentleman staying in the same hotel. I mentioned my admiration of his looks to my traveling companions, and was almost immediately sorry, as they pointed him out so often I was nearly 'morto', as they say here. Just before we left, the lovely man was checking out, so it was now or never. 

"Er... excuse me, I couldn't help notice your lovely head..."

And so my new best friend is the wonderful Vernon, who was traveling with his wife and very happily sat for me. Here are some progress shots of my drawing study, and a small video. 

for scale - the drawing is on A2 paper. 

I enjoyed working on the flesh areas, but the beard is a challenge. It isn't finisehd yet, but I thought I'd share the progress so far. 
Hmm. The beard... 

Pencil is so difficult to photograph - the camera doesn't like all that white paper. So I did the video to try to show it better. 
And yes, it seems I have trouble speaking, thinking and drawing at the same time. 

More as I progress... 

Drawings by Julie Douglas, Belfast Academy of Realist Art (B.A.R.A.) 

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