Excellent painting tricks from Gerard Bryceland? 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 The Nose: From the inner corners of your eyes, draw two straight lines going down up to the third red guide line, it’s also the level of where the bottom of your ears are. These are the marking points for your nose. Begin drawing the nose while being careful to stay within those lines! The tip of the noise is usually rounded, so once you reach that point, draw a very light circle to serve as a shaping guide. Sketch two small oblongs with tips tapering (almost like teardrops but curved) towards the center very lightly under the tip of your nose on both sides. These will be the nostrils. Pay close attention to the size and shape of your nostrils, make sure that the holes you draw are not too big nor too small. Unless of course that is what you can clearly observe on your model or reference. When not done carefully, it could ruin the proportion of your portrait drawing.
Gerry Bryceland‘s tips about portret painting: The White of the Eye: a dark grey glaze is mixed from scarlet red, yellow medium azo and phthalocyanine blue and lightened with opaque titanium white. This is then applied in graduated layers to render the dark tones of the white of the eye. Note how the upper eyelid casts a strong shadow across the eye while the lower eyelid registers a weaker one. These shadows create the illusion that eyeball is resting comfortably in its socket. The Iris: glazes of burnt sienna and titanium white are combined to suggest the refracted light of the brown iris. A little Prussian blue is added to darken the burnt sienna around the outer edge of the iris.
You could try freehand drawing your face. This is the most straightforward approach, but that doesn’t mean it is the easiest. With this approach, you look at yourself in the mirror, or look at a photo, then simply start sketching what you see. Pay attention to the major shapes you see and pay careful attention to how your features relate to one another. You also need to pay attention to the light source, so you can render your face with realistic highlights and shadows. When using this approach, start out your drawing with light, sketchy lines, then slowly darken your drawing as you render it, but only after the initial sketch is in place.
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.