Tag Archives: portraiture

fred_bear – Belle Art Nouveau

26 Feb

fred_bear_final_web.jpg

I thought that if anyone was going to get a picture of a naked man, it was going to be fred_bear.

So what happened?

Well, I went to Prague. I went to Prague and discovered Alphonse Mucha. I really wanted to have a go imitating (emulating!) some of his art nouveau posters and I thought fred_bear would probably appreciate his style. So, with this new inspiration, I tried out some ideas. I realised pretty early on that Mucha’s art is complex – too complex (to be honest) for my skill level and my small A4 sheet of paper. Also, he’s just much better (more experienced!) at drawing than me. For my first attempt, I decided to concentrate on a head, rather than a whole body. So I needed a face and I remembered that fred_bear had a pic she really really liked (and which she’d conveniently posted on her lj :-). She could be the face! So now I had a great face, I started trying to put it into a picture but frankly I had a lot of trouble (and here is an example). The main problem is that all you really see of fred_bear in the picture is her face and I was getting absolutely lost in working out how big her head should be relative to that. What I needed was fred_bear‘s face on a head. Fortunately I knew someone, with relatively similar hair and head, who was willing to be photographed 🙂 After some 40-odd shots (digital camera), I ended up with a head at the right angle that I could stick fred_bear’s face on. (Seriously!) This was a great help and I decided that my next draft was the one[1].

After I’d made up my final draft, I transferred it only to tracing paper, which was a genius idea cos I ended up tracing the final picture three times. I used a mixture of pen, gouache and water colour pencils. These are all difficult materials for me – much more difficult than, say, acrylic or oils or graphite – because once you put it on, it’s there for good and it’s *very* difficult to go over it without messing it up even more. I’m generally a messy person and this is part of the reason I was trying them out. One of the mistakes occurred because I didn’t realise my pen was not waterproof, once because I’d decided I was too heavy handed with pink on fred_bear ‘s face. My final picture is not perfect – I think other copies looked more like fred_bear than this final one. It’s a great lesson in how tiny change in pen stroke can really change a whole face. But the final picture is (i think!!) really rather pretty – I love the dark red and the stars and the border and the hair.


[1] fred_bear‘s hair? A complete rip off of the hair Mucha put on Music!!

Portfolio Finished!

24 Jun

Brian has eyes!

brian_2_finished.jpg

They’re not his eyes (my only photo of Brian is blurry and not very useful) and I’m not even sure they’re the most appropriate eyes for him (perhaps they should be brown??). But they do seem to be the eyes that I’ve always pictured him with. For some reason they give me a real feeling of deja vu.

(Please note that he is much straighter IRL – the photo seems to have come out all crooked. Photographing stuff also changes the colours and probably scanning stuff would be better. But I’m never going to do that unless I get a scanner at home. Hmmm… :-))

The final compiling of the portfolio last night was quite painless (except in my lower back! Two weeks of crouching on the lounge room floor has taken it’s toll). Given I had to paint Brian’s eyes and all, I compiled everything together quite quickly and was in bed by 1 am. Last year I was up to 2 at least. I had spent more time sorting what was going in that last time so perhaps it’s not such a suprise.

I’m pleased because Brian does look like a proper person – he’s in proportion – but he doesn’t really look like Brian so – as always I need to work on my relationships. My brother thinks he looks like Orlando Bloom, although I don’t see it myself. Just in case though I’ve actually titled it ‘Not Orlando Bloom!’

Just in case.

Art Class

27 May

Today we had a portrait model in. His name was Brian.

brian_2.jpg

Brian is not finished. He has no eyes, for example. He should be finished by next class, however, as I’ve learnt we’re going to be invigilated again for out certificate. It was actually a bit of a shock when Brian walked into class today, as it isn’t the first time I’ve met him.

brian_1.jpg

Yep – I drew all of him late last year in a 1-day life drawing workshop. i was quite happy with my picture of him at the time, although now i tihnk it’s a bit pastel or candy colour. He’s not really defined enough. (I should have picked different colour sugar paper at the least). That workshop does still represent the longest amount of time i’ve spent on one piece in one go. It was a really good day.

I only had about 2.5 hours painting Brian this morning and finishing will be a challenge, as I don’t have a proper desk – let alone an easel to do it on. Perhaps I could get one cheap somewhere.