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The Golden Age of Russian Impressionism


 

 

Artist Portrait Tips

 

Art Tips | Artist Portrait Tips


 

Tricking the Eye
 

1. The most useful way to "trick" your eye is to look at your drawing in the mirror.   This shocks your eye into seeing some inconsistencies, things that are lopsided, crooked and/or off-kilter. While it is true that most faces are somewhat asymmetrical, looking at your drawing in the mirror may really horrify you!
 

2. Another variation on this theme of "tricking" your eye is to turn your drawing upside down, along with the photo you are working from.   Compare them both, looking at shapes and forms, and see if anything does not match up.
 

Useful Materials
 

Strathmore drawing paper Other brands will do - Grumbacher is another good brand.   Do not get a cheap sketch pad, all it will do is not take erasures well. (And trust me, you will be erasing!)
 

Graphite pencil 2B or B softness.  Do not get a "hard" pencil, one with an HB (or an "H" in its softness rating at all) will give too light of a line to make a decent drawing. You may even want to get one of those mechanical pencils, (the ones commonly found in stationery and grocery stores) they are handy to have, and do not need to be sharpened!
 

Kneaded Rubber Eraser If you do not know what that is, go to an art store (or perhaps a stationery store) and ask.  It is a pliable, soft eraser that can be manipulated (a little like silly putty) to erase small areas.   It also seems to be easier on your sketch paper, and will not tear into it as easily.


Pencil sharpener  Get a decent one.  There is nothing more frustrating than working on a drawing, and then having to stop and struggle with getting your pencil sharpened correctly!   If you feel comfortable investing in one of those electric sharpeners (a good one, with a brand name) do so!  However, it is not necessary; many small portable sharpeners work great.


A drawing book I recommend “How to Draw on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. This book is definitely one of the best out there to help you learn how to draw, and it does give a lot of attention to portraits.
 

Things to Avoid


1. Don't trace from photographs. Don't trace at all, or only for very unique and special reasons. You should learn how to draw freehand. If you don't, you will be severely hampered in many ways.


2. Don't take criticism poorly. It will help your art progress and allow you to see through another’s eyes.


3. Don't draw "wimpy" drawings!  Use a pencil with some softness (B or 2B, not HB or 2H) so that you can get proper dark and sharp contrasts, not some washed-out wimpy looking drawing.  


4. Avoid using the color black in your color work.  If you use watercolors, oil or acrylic paint, try to not use the tube of black paint that comes with the paint set.  It is true that many accomplished artists use black in their palette, and use it successfully.  However, many other artists (especially new artists) overuse the color black, and it deadens and "muddies" the whole painting.   If you are a little uncomfortable with mixing colors, get a good book on color mixing.  I recommend any book by Helen Van Wyk.


 

 















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