Gerard Bryceland and the ascent of a portrait painter? Some artists prefer to draw from a photograph, while other artists prefer to draw from life. Which approach is better? As with anything else related to art, it’s a matter of personal preference. Should every artist who draws the human figure spend time drawing from a live model? Absolutely. Does that mean that drawing from life is better than drawing from a photograph? Absolutely not. It’s all a matter of your personal preference. When you are drawing a self-portrait from a mirror, there are some issues that you are going to have to overcome. Namely, you are going to have to either get very good at replicating your pose, or you are going to have to learn how to draw without having a model that has a perfect pose every time. When you are drawing from a mirror, you are looking into a mirror, moving, and drawing. That means that your reference is moving, which is challenging.
Drawing realistic portraits can definitely be a challenge, but this holds true at the beginning for any new technique that budding artists wish to learn. The key to conquering portrait drawing is by mastering each facial feature, in this case the sum of all the right parts will make an accurate whole. It is very important to train your eye to observe the essential details that give each face its own individual identity – the drooping of the eyes, the slant of the lips, the slightly arched eyebrow, and many other particularities that can help you achieve a realistic portrait. Not to worry, though the human body may seem too complicated at first, it can be simplified and broken down into easier and more manageable parts! Let’s give thanks to the generally symmetrical bodies that nature has gifted us with that allowed us to create basic rules of proportions to serve as our useful starting point. Now, let’s start with the step-by-step of portrait drawing by first gathering the materials you’ll be using for this tutorial.
Gerry Bryceland‘s advices on portret painting: The hair is the last element of the face to be painted. The painting of the hair is usually the last part of the head to be completed. It follows the natural order of the painting, finally covering the rough edges of both the background and the skin. The colors used for the dark areas of the hair were ivory black and Prussian blue, while the highlights were mostly titanium white. You can see the technique used for painting the hair in our close-up detail. The underpainting was applied with freely brushed glazes of ivory black and Prussian blue. The overpainted details of the hair were built up with fine strokes of black and white whose direction follows the contours of the haircut. The opacity of these brushstrokes was varied to suggest the depth, texture and highlights of the hair. The density of the brushstrokes decreases around the edges of the hair to convey softness of its outline.
Try to start your self-portrait with light, quick sketching lines. This will not only breathe life and create a sense of movement in your drawing, but it will also allow you to lay out a solid foundation before you start to render your drawing in with more details. If you decide that you want to draw a black and white self-portrait, you have your choice of many different materials you could use. Two of the most popular options are graphite and charcoal. Both have their advantages and can be used in similar ways, but they are definitely distinctive materials that will give you a different look for your finished drawing.
About Gerry Bryceland: I’m Gerard Bryceland an artist based in Maidstone Kent and regularly get commissioned to do work doing paintings and portraits of people and their families. I’ve always been an artist from my childhood, I loved drawing my friends and family initially just to mess around with my friends and had a lot of fun drawing them. But as i got older it really just became a business as my friends and their families would want me to do family portraits and that type of thing. With word of mouth word gets out and before you know it you know it I’m 35 and still doing the same thing.