Friday, 22 May 2015

Portrait Practice #12 on Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia

Drawn to the accompaniment of John Williams' superb film score - my favourites being Binary Sunset and Princess Leia's Theme from A New Hope, and The Imperial March from Empire Strikes Back (songs of the son, daughter and father) - this latest portrait practice piece took roughly five days of intermittent work to complete. Similar to miniature painting, the more time you spent slowly building up layers the better your end result will be. So in this regard I'm still a ways off from putting in the requisite hours in order to get smooth graphite blends (or tonal gradations) on paper.

Portrait Practice #12 on Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa

For my 12th attempt at drawing a portrait with graphite pencils, I was most pleased with how the mouth and hair turned out. In addition, I managed to get closer to the correct facial proportions of my subject matter than I've ever managed before in past drawings. These positives I gladly take as any improvement, however small, that I achieve serves as a huge inspiration to continue drawing.  

Portrait drawing of Princess Leia using graphite pencils
Reference photo used for my 12th attempt at portrait drawing

Nonetheless, I had some misgivings about how her eyebrows and skin tone turned out. The former's shape was slightly off and also could have been a bit thicker while the latter turned out somewhat blotchy. Contrary to her hair in which I carefully build up volume by slowly and patiently applying increasingly darker tapered strokes, I had instead sped up work on her skin tone by blending with tissue before a sufficiently gradual gradient in tonal values was put down. Inconsistencies in time spent on different areas of the portrait remains a weakness which is easier to diagnose than cure.   

Side by side comparison between Princess Leia's reference photo and drawing

If an appropriate photo reference can be sourced, next up will be a portrait of a South Korean actress that was born in the same year as me. It will nice to draw someone my age for a change although she looks better in her 40s than I did in my 20s. Meanwhile, the number of ready-to-paint miniatures in my project pipeline is rapidly dwindling; more so with the recent completion of The Hulk (Knight Models), Zombie Hunter (Ax Faction) and Hexcast Sorceress (Super Dungeon Explore). That means a lot of miniature prep work is in store for me. Hopefully I can still get some drawing done on the side.


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