Portrait Drawing Session at Weber State University

Portrait Drawing Session at Weber State University

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I had the opportunity to attend another weekly drawing session up at Weber State University. This session was a clothed figure of an older lady so I decided to do a portrait drawing session of her. When you see things through the eyes of an artist, you get to see beauty in more things than what media tells us to see.

Portrait Drawing Session on the iPad

For this portrait drawing session, I decided once again to use my iPad as the medium. It was interesting because the other artists were able to see how to create a drawing on something other than the usual mediums they are used to.

I’ve been practicing working on getting a traditional look out of a digital medium, mainly focusing on a charcoal look. I feel I’m getting a lot closer to this by utilizing the digital charcoals in Procreate. The main issue we face with digital mediums is the look of repetition. The digital mediums use a samples photo of a real medium then rotates and scale it regularly to avoid repetition, but when you draw long enough it is sure to show up. To avoid this I try to switch between a digital vine charcoal and a compressed charcoal because in life they have a different texture to the digital medium also picks that up, this helps avoid repetition.

Setting Up the Portrait Drawing

Just like in traditional mediums I build up to base on my portrait drawing I’ll be working on and establishing proportions by using structural lines. I measure each piece in relation to another and this helps give me a solid and accurate base.

from their, I begin to build out the forms with mapping the shadows and eventually fully rendering the portrait. I’m including a time lapse video to show you how I build out the figure from the most basic construction lines to a fully finished portrait. It’s important to take your time in the initial stages as many people who are new to drawing and want to dive into details immediately but this will set you up for a failed portrait. Ironically, as you progress you will find more enjoyment out of the early stages of the drawing vs the final stages where many artists find somewhat tedious. By focusing on the early stages you will measure, compare, contrast, and figure out just where everything needs to be to create as successfully rendered portrait drawing session.

No matter if you are working in a digital or traditional medium, it’s important to get the foundations set early on. Just like building a house, if your foundation doesn’t hold, the house will eventually fall or have issues in the final part of the construction. By working on the foundation, you will find that you can enjoy the later stages more if you don’t have to fight with the structure that should have been done earlier on.

© 2023 Adam Miconi