Portrait Work

edward-webNot your average portrait work. I’ve finally reached a point where I want to learn to draw faces. I want to embrace the imperfections of a face. I want to “draw to expression” not “draw to perfection”. I want to embrace the facial quirks, the oddities that make up a face, the not-so-perfect placement, and the unusual. This is what I like about sketching ~ not the precision. But the precision needs to be learned first and once the basics are there, you are free to break the rules.

green-face-web-FINALAnd I am breaking those rules. It seems that the path has been long, but in reality I’ve only decided to learn how to sketch faces a few months ago. A good class with Gillian Lee Smith has taught me a lot. And sketching every day helps, too. I want to be able to create a face that might tell the viewer a story.

Blue Headscarf I have been working with traditional media which is wonderful. I love dipping into the paints, the pastels, charcoals, and the vast array of pencils. But I am turning what I have worked to digital, now that I can draw more than a stick figure.

I love the scratchy lines, so I’ve created a few fine art textures to embellish the paintings. I also learned that I really, really like to scribble. I think it adds to the expressive nature of the work, it keeps my hand moving, and puts some energy into the final work. Some of the exercises I do are making marks just for the joy of it, and this mark making has found its way into the final works.

Being able to begin with a blank canvas in Corel Painter and end up with a digital mixed media portrait is very freeing. I can take all the ideas I use in traditional media and work out how to get that particular look digitally. Thick gesso, the addition of papers, scratchy pastels, charcoal, oil sticks, and pencil work.

It is a process and it is coming along. The above images are completely digital. The one below is traditional oils. I still have miles to go. . .

Purple Hair

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.



  • May 28, 2016 - 1:53 pm

    Karen Burns - From a blank canvas ~ sketching and painting in Corel PainterReplyCancel

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