A summary of the narrative:
This vast city which once was the home of an advanced civilization still hosts relics of its former greatness. A journey that was led by readings into the ancient world has led our protagonist to wondrous territories. As she walks through the eternal city she collects flowers that are growing. Transporting them to a new home.
This piece began as a linear block-in at Grand Central Atelier last year. I rendered the drawing by referencing master paintings, conceptualizing light on form and imagining some elements of the piece.
This is the linear block-in I drew from life during a two hour portrait sketch session at Grand Central Atelier. I lost some information after I transferred the drawing in the next stage. I will have to pay more attention to retaining the shapes in my block-in while I develop my modeling in the future.
Modeling the Portrait
The Contour as a Guide
Additional Master Painting References
here, were some of the paintings which were helpful to reference for modeling forms on the portrait.
here, such as the ellipse for the window in this building, .
The arrow in the upper left hand corned of the drawing described the direction of the light source. I drew a right angle from that direction to use as a guide for my triangle in making the angle of the shadows on the building. As for the distance of the shadows, I based that upon the concept that the closer the light is to the object casting a shadow the longer the shadow will be. Generally during midday the shadow on an object would be shorter as opposed to at dusk where longer shadows often occur. I settled on a distance based on the time of day for the scene and just tried to be consistent in the drawing.
I utilized concepts of one point perspective described in G.A Storey's book the Theory and Practice of Perspective and have been taking perspective classes with Anthony Baus in the core program at Grand Central Atelier which has enhanced my understanding of applied perspective.
Also, in this stage before applying washes to the background I included drawing for additional landscape elements. I drew the shirt, backpack and books by using myself and a mirror to draw those objects at a similar orientation to the portrait.
Applying Washes to the Background
I began the wash process by working from light to dark. I wanted to directly achieve the value in a given area that was in my value study so for the five values seen in this early stage of the background I only applied about five washes of tone.
In the past I have seen classical artists from Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century to Anthony van Dyck in the 17th century make use of linear drawings from life as references for paintings so I wanted to give the process a try. Creating a portrait from initially starting with only a linear block-in from life as a reference showed me more about how a piece can be developed beyond that stage without the use of a live model and just studying master paintings along with studies of nature.