Friday, 14 March 2014

Portrait Practice #07 and a first step in sculpting

Hot, hazy and dry just about sums up the weather in the city at the moment. In such stifling conditions, I found it much easier to draw than to paint. So it was game on for my seventh portrait drawing practice piece. It is based on a photo of Katniss Everdeen (as played by Jennifer Lawrence) that I saw on a magazine cover promoting the first movie of The Hunger Games quadrilogy.

Portrait Practice #07 - Katniss Everdeen

For this piece, I tried to concentrate on shading i.e. using extreme light and dark values to form the facial features. I wasn't too happy with the results as the shading was still patchy in places. So either my technique is wrong or I am doing it correcttly but need more practice. That being said, I was pretty pleased with how the eyes turned out as they seemed to make the drawing more lifelike. 

Hunger Games promo photo of Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence)

Perhaps one thing I could have done to make the drawing have more depth was to shade the area around her head with matte black. But leaving the surrounding area unshaded was an easy decision to make as I have no idea how to make the border bewtween a matte black background and the head appear seamless. In the end, I lightened the shading throught the portrait drawing to compensate.  

Comparison between a slightly scaled up drawing versus the black and white reference photo

As I have mentioned before, my portrait drawings are part of the overall sculpting process namely the initial concept sketches that are to serve as a blueprint of sorts for my future sculpts. This being the case, I felt that I needed to make a proper start in sculpting per se hence I will be immersing myself in a book by Katherine Dewey titled Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay (see photo below).

My journey into sculpting begins with this book

Why polymer clay and not other sculpting materials? Well, although I was tempted to use some self-hardening materials available on the market, I didn't want to work under a time-limit when sculpting. It would probably take me days just to get any particular part of a sculpture looking half-decent so to have a sculpting material that hardened in a few hours may result in, for example, a face sculpt that looks like a horses's ass. We wouldn't want that happening now would we? 


  1. Well done sir, very impressive!

  2. Seriously, I can't see why you are not completely happy with the results, I like your picture very very much. On the other hand I can't disagree about the eyes: they are gorgeus and they seem to be real! Well done!!

    1. I am glad you liked the eyes too. ^_^ Funnily enough I noticed some mistakes on the skin shading around the eyes after I posted the photos. -_-;

      Thanks for liking the drawing. =) I felt the shading could have been much better in that it could have looked more natural and less patchy. But I sincerely appreciate your kind words as it is always a confidence booster to have anyone like your work.

    2. It's always like this, man: every time one notice the mistakes just AFTER posting a picture -_-' but if it's any consolation, I sill don't find those mistakes you're speaking about ;)

    3. Very nice of you to say so. =) What you say is so true and to curb the perfectionist in me I sometimes just grit my teeth and consider a particular artwork finished or I will never have anything to post. lol XD

      Anyway, the mistakes I made are small things that make the human mind go ... wait a minute, that looks a bit-off ... in this case it was the shading on the semi-double eyelid (Jennifer Lawrence doesn't really have a double eyelid), lines below the eyes are too prominent and need further blending, and the eyebrows are too thin.

  3. You become an expert in the portrait, once again for the very good work !
    Greetings .

    1. Me expert ... not even close. ^_^ However, there is one pencil artist who I saw on YouTube that is about 1,000,000 times better than me and he is indeed an expert =>

  4. Waaah!.. your hand drawing is very very good!!
    I have several friends that can draw like that but they all took art class back in study.
    You study arts?

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Lord AK. =)

      No-lah ... I have NO art background whatsoever. I would have loved to study art but ended studying science in University for four miserable years of my life. All my drawings are self-taught which is why they look a bit off and not very good in my opinion. Hopefully I can do more research online to learn the proper techniques and with practice can become better so that I can do up some good sculpting concept sketches. ^_^


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