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More portrait sketches

May 18, 2011

The studio was painted over the weekend, and left empty for the carpet cleaners, who are scheduled to come tomorrow.  Since the studio has been unusable, I’ve spent the time sitting in my easy chair, continuing to rekindle my love affair with the pencil.  I spent part of the afternoon working on a portrait drawing, then after dinner did some quick sketches.  I’ll show the sketches first.  These are all small sketches, the largest around 5×7, and the smallest around 4×5.  I probably spent a total of 4 to 5 hours on all of them combined:

This little grouping was taken from several Rembrandt paintings.  His portraits are wonderful to study and work from because he was such a master of light and shadow.  These are on colored Canson Mi Tientes paper, using some very plain school pencils and Prismacolor white and terra cotta pencils.

I believe the sketch above was taken from a John Singer Sargent portrait.  It was done very quickly, which didn’t do the lady justice, I’m afraid.  This is such a classic face that it deserves to be done more deliberately with much more time and care taken.  But it was a good exercise for me.  Unfortunately, reference material is hard to come by for this type of portrait without having to worry about copyright issues.  I need to talk to my daughters…

The face above was taken from a William Adolph Bouguereau painting.  I missed it completely by doing it far too quickly, but again a good exercise, so I’ll post it anyway.

And then there was the major piece of the day… unfinished, but I’ll post it as a work in progress:

The Other Thinker, 8x10, Pencil (in progress)

I found this image at a copyright-free site online.  Along with the Rembrandts, it’s my kind of portrait.  I haven’t done a drawing like this in a very long time, and decided to take my time with it.  I may have 2-3 hours in it so far, but keep in mind that I do these sitting in front of the TV, so the time factor is kind of irrelevant.  What’s important is my love for this kind of work.  I’ve shied away from it in recent years because it takes a heavy toll on my eyes.  But some things just have to be done.  Besides, it’s time to get my eyes checked again, anyway.

I’ll continue to work on this guy tomorrow while the carpet cleaners are doing their thing upstairs.

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