Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Portrait #4

Finished portrait #4 last night, using some charcoal sticks I bought earlier. I bought them because I liked the fact that the box contained a range of grey tones in addition to white and black. But  I wasn't  too happy with them, though. The consistency reminded me more of those chalks used on blackboards, and they're very dusty.

At the moment, the portraits seem to develop a "life" of their own, with me having only limited influence in the process. I use pictures in magazines as a reference, but I'm not too bothered about producing any real likeness. It's the pose, the angle, the proportions, the highlights and shadows I'm interested in, and I just add layer after layer, wondering how she will turn out, what kind of emotion, mood will emerge. Here, I think it's a kind of pain or distress. Maybe she's having a slight headache, or remembering/thinking about something unpleasant. I'm quite enjyoing this rather intuitive process at the moment.

After I took the photo, I actually worked some more on her, I just couldn't stop. Maybe I'll replace the photo later on with the finished version.


  1. Thanks for dropping by my blog, your portrait here is wonderful, I love the soft texture & delicate blending of the charcoal, I find it interesting to kept developing the piece as it already looks fantastic :) Well Done!

  2. Great work! I've always loved the look of charcoal. i also thought she looked intensely focused, or like she may have a headache. I particularly love the opposite shapes on each side of your drawing... the dark curve on the right side of the page (hair) and the curve of empty space on the left side.
    happy CED!

  3. I think she is wonderful. She is so real looking. To me she looks like she is deep in thought remembering something that could be painful. I love the way the contrast makes her cheeks so prominent.

  4. Stunning - what beautiful shading & features! I too love it when the process just flows and I feel like I just along for the ride!