Faces Part 2 of Too Many to Count

March 27, 2013

130105_GWomanLeft: Quick Pentel Pocket Brush Pen Sketch of a TV actress (I stopped the TV) on cream Stonehenge, 8.5 x 11 inches. I started the eyes up too high, but the placement of her face actually grew on me and I decided I didn't want to draw in the rest of her body.

I think I might not be able to go a day without picking up the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Today I'm sharing a couple more faces I sketched earlier this year (when I was practicing for the Portrait Party). The first was done with the PPBP.

I like the way you can make such an intense line with the PPBP. And how that line can be thin or thick, and change direction at an impulse or whim.

All those characteristics help me train to edit, edit, edit—what is important as the bare essentials to show a likeness.

130108B_BurgerDALeft: "Hamilton Burger" on Perry Mason, I forget the actor's name. 8.5 x 11 inches, Richeson recycled watercolor paper. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Calligraphy pen.

Sometimes I feel like making a different sort of line and in the "Hamilton Burger" sketch you can see me playing around with the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Calligraphy Pen. I've written about this a lot so you all know it's also a favorite pen. It's great for working large when a finer tipped pen would take forever. And I can put it on one of its edges and get some fine lines out of it. On the "rough-ish" Richeson Recycled watercolor paper the texture also breaks up the line in interesting ways.

A Note on Perry Mason: These sketches were from the last season of the show, and now earlier episodes including season one are being aired. I find it really interesting to see how Perry's character has changed (sometimes in the early episodes he does things that are "borderline" which he would never do later). Watching how his relationship with Burger and Lt. Tragg changes is also fun. But most of all it's fun to see the different hairstyles and camera angles that are used in the show. The first year is a little less dramatic in its use of camera angles. I think also poor quality video tapes are being aired and the lighting isn't that great. I have a sense they are finding their way. I'm looking forward to working my way back through the series to season 8 (I've seen most of season 9). It's good to have a hobby.

  1. Reply

    Your comment about editing is so true when I think about it: likenesses do boil a face down to the essentials of recognition. Oddly enough, when I have trouble getting a likeness my inner tendency is to ADD MORE information—but with your observation here, perhaps going the other way ( less info but the right info ) is probably a better route. Likenesses are definitely a knack! Loving the one at the bottom!

  2. Reply

    Thanks Ellen. I had the wonderful pleasure of watching Jeffrey Larson do an oil portrait in 6 painting hours (7 hour day with an hour for lunch) recently at the Atelier. He honed his shapes and values to the right ones and created a wonderful likeness of his model yet when you were close there was very little detail in most areas—particularly the eyes. It was truly amazing. Since he normally takes more time to do a portrait, often working a shorter 2-3 hours session and then scraping things down and starting again the next day (something possible in oils) it becomes all about the refinement of shapes and values. He mentioned that painting in the shorter time required stopping at certain points he wouldn’t have normally stopped at for a given area—that too is a form of editing and speaks to the balance of the whole.

    Something I hope to get to at some point in my lifetime!

    Glad you liked that Burger sketch. I thought the camera angle was really fun. I’m trying to practice “odder” angles so that when I’m out and about sketching people I’m more adventuresome about the angles.

    • Margo
    • March 27, 2013

    Both of these are fun, I definitely see what attracted you to do this particular Burger sketch. I’ve been working my way through a Strathmore toned paper sketchbook using one colored pencil and a white sketching from the tv. Time to dig out my calligraphy pens and give a go with larger sheets of paper than I used last time.

  3. Reply

    Thanks Margo, and I hope you have great fun with the Strathmore toned paper sketchbook and colored pencil (I find cp is great on that paper!) And I hope you have a great time with your calligraphy pens.

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