Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Portrait Drawing With Matthew Mancini: WIP

                                  Day 1  graphite block in

                                  Day 2 redone graphite block in                                              

Since I arrived back from my travel out west, I have been busy taking a course in classical drawing. 
This is a present to myself, as I have always wanted to be shown "how to draw"; that is, to be given instruction by someone trained in the methods of the French Academy.
My college experiences as an under grad and grad student left me bereft of any formal study, not unlike many others, I am sorry to say, who also yearned for sound training. I pretty much taught myself throughout the course of my life to get to where I am today by reading books and quiet practice.
I am always eager to get better and this opportunity came when I could grab it.
Hope you enjoy the WIP with me.

At ArtRichmond, young Matthew Mancini is holding a workshop for about 12 of us adults, all of whom can draw and paint with competence but who also admire the classical and wish to learn some more techniques to improve our painting. Matthew is a wonderful and caring teacher and in two days I have already gained much by watching him, then standing for four more hours and imitating a process. 

These images are my fledgling efforts at the block in. It should be a whisper of a drawing...more like a ghost appearing, but as you can see I am a bit rusty and heavy handed with my graphite pencil. So I decided to redo from scratch what I did yesterday.
Already a marked improvement. the idea is to have shapes defined in contour and a flat tone and rendered accurately before doing anything else. Pencil range is 6H, 2H and HB.

By Friday, we should have a beautifully rendered likeness ... after about 20+ hours of work.
For this painter who usually cranks out a fairly good portrait in three hours with paint, this is a struggle for patience and fortitude; and well worth every minute of intense looking and problem solving.
More tomorrow.

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