|Portrait Practice #11 - Shailene Woodley (as Tris Prior)|
One of the key reasons my portrait drawing's proportions tend to be a bit off-kilter is the fact that I'm drawing with my eyes at an angle of roughly 45 degrees to the paper. It would be ideal to have the paper perpendicular to my line of sight, and this is achievable via the use of a mobile drawing board or a table that has multiple viewing angles. Unfortunately, neither are affordable options. But this is an old grip of mine and I probably sound like a broken record. Currently, the only option available to me is to get better at optical indexing (a fancy schmancy way of saying measuring proportions).
|A camera shot of my portrait drawing of Tris Prior|
On the bright side, any practice is good for a beginner like me. I'll gladly take any improvements I make regardless how inconsistent they may be. Sometimes I seem to take one step forward and two steps back (e.g. draw the hair well but fumble on the nose and mouth) while on good days I make progress without any regression. What keeps me going is the believe it will all come good eventually. I adhere to the school of taught that says if you are passionate and persistent enough about something then you will get better at it. In other words, artists are taught NOT born, well most of 'em anyway.
|Proportion issues meant an accurate likeness was not achieved in this practice piece|
Divergent Book Trilogy Review
My interest in drawing the portrait of Miss Woodley came about after reading the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. In the first two movie adaptations of the series - Divergent and Insurgent, she portrays the role of Beatrice (Tris) Prior who is the story's main protagonist. As I understand it, the use of First Person Present Tense as the narrative voice in Young Adult novels seems to be all the rage at the moment. But for someone who is used to reading in the traditional (and more widespread) Third Person Past Tense narrative voice, the books took a bit of getting used to. Overall, I felt the book had an interesting dystopian take on an old science fiction theme of [spoiler alert] human genetic engineering. And for what it's worth, I didn't expect the ending in the final book Allegiant.
|Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth|
That being said, I felt that the trilogy started stronger than it ended. I also didn't really buy into the whole romance between the two main characters. Then again, with me being neither a spring chicken nor the intended target demographic, I shouldn't be surprised to feel this way. I would give the trilogy a three-and-a-half out of five stars on account of fairly strong character development as well as a reasonably unique view on a subject matter that has been tackled before by Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction writers. While not a classic, this series is still worth a read. So go read it!