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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

HB 10

I'm rather pleased with this 10 minute self portrait for more than one reason, mostly the nose, symmetry and the fact that I am not frowning and don't look 103 years old.
Of course....that could all change tomorrow but today it seems my instincts cut me a break!

There is a reason behind my current time limits on self portraits and when Laura from Laurelines was kind enough to offer some constructive criticism on my Sunday self portrait, I tried to explain my plan to her:

"My aim is to be able to produce quick portraits like this regularly, then pick them to pieces, see my mistakes and hopefully improve so that I can train my hand to perfectly place features quickly. Hopefully leaving faults, working from instinct like this will give me plenty of references to look back over and detect habitual mistakes I am making so I can focus on them and improve. Speed isn't the important factor so much as hand-eye coordination - improving my vision and being able to reproduce that with ease. Working quickly just allows me to see how I work on instinct. It's a plan!"

I'd like to thank Laura for taking the time to offer her thoughts and suggestions to me in such a constructive and well mannered way. I whole heartedly welcome others to do the same, I believe constructive criticism to be truly beneficial and I know I would not have reached this stage of my abilities without such an honest, supportive start from the wonderful members at Wet Canvas and the constant chant of "DARKS" in the watercolour forum.
They encouraged me to walk one step in front of where I would have trodden alone.

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.
Frank A Clark


Jenny said...

Nice to see you without a frown!

When I'm in the mood to do portraits, I prefer doing different ones each time. The features are in the same areas, but they are different.

As far as darks go, I'm also trying to use them, but many times I'm confused on their best placement unless it's obvious for a shape. Dyslexia isn't fun. It sometimes messes up proper shading.

Meinhild Selbach said...

A very nice and creativ portrait. I also like the critic they give at WetCanvas - more than the comments on EDM. I am getting more actif at WetCanvas to improve and might even try to take some of their Basic drawing courses.
It is always a delight to come to your site.
Greetings from France

Sherry said...

The sketch is very appealing, especially the way you organized the page, with the words, the red splash and the pencil at the bottom. I'm not sure if the likeness is strong, but the portrait is charming. BTW, I'm working on a portrait of my g-g-grandmother, and have been using the Charles Reid book on painting portraits as a reference. I think it's worth a look.

PamYla said...

Wow you work well fast! i love the softness and character in your self portrait. Beautiful job

lyn said...

Always great to check on your blog, love the idea behind the quick sketches. I'm in a group that hires a model once a month, We start with 5 to 8, 2 min. poses I think its a good exercise in proportion. We finish with 20 min poses. I'll often do extra 2 min. ones before the longer poses and they are the ones I like best.
I feel it helps your eye - hand coordination. I'll be back looking for more!

Serena said...

Lovely and soft and I like your page layout too, Anita.

Great quote!