|Portrait Practice #14 on Sucker Punch's Babydoll as played by Emily Browning|
On my 14th try at portrait drawing, I made a conscious attempt to prevent any stark lines from showing up by blending out smoother tonal transitions. In addition, I tried to accurately mimic the textures on Babydoll's face namely her lower eyelids (or eye bags), light blonde hair and lips. Each practice piece has thankfully brought a better understanding on how graphite behaves on paper.
|I can't say it enough ... use of an inclined drawing table has improved the proportions in my portraits|
To see whether I had actually made any progress, I compared my two attempts at drawing Babydoll's portrait - both about twelve practice pieces apart. The difference in quality is painfully obvious but more of an eye opener is the fact I was pretty pleased with my first try ... then. This is what makes self teaching highly ineffective at times; an inability to gauge ones own work objectively. What looks perfectly fine today will look terrible later as one's understanding of a particular art from develops.
|Twelve practice pieces later and there are (thankfully) clear signs of improvement in my drawing skills|
Also for this practice session, I took some photographs of the portrait at various stages of completion. Without the benefit of a scanner, there exists some discrepancies between the photos due to the angle of the shots. However, the series of shots below still manage to convey a sense of evolution of Babydoll's portrait drawing all the way from initial rough outlines to the final completed piece.
|Various stages of the Babydoll portrait drawing|
Being able to see tangible signs of improvement in my drawing skills, no matter how small, is always a huge confidence booster. It gives me hope I'm moving in the right direction. Steve Jobs once said the only way to do great work is to love what you do. At least I'm already halfway there.