Here’s a sketch that I’m working on that is kicking my ass:
Among other things, I have to fix His hair.
(And no, I don’t mean ‘fix His hair like a pretty pretty princess’ *sidelong glance*)
Two suggestions come to mind, aside from the hair. One, the left shoulder could do with some reduction in the back, to reduce the hunch and make it more symmetrical with the subject’s right shoulder. The second suggestion is that your perspective is a touch off when it comes to the subject’s right eye: namely, there is too much of it exposed, in relation to the position and angle of the rest of the face (which seems to be in a direct profile). In this case, you have the choice to either reduce the amount of eye exposed on the subject’s right side; or leave the eye as it is, and shift the rest of the face a little. The hair I actually like – perhaps a few more strands at the top, where you have a lot of negative space above the hairline at his forehead – and I think you did an incredible job on the ear. Your proportions are spot-on, and I think the nose also looks really good … a bold feature, without overpowering the rest of the face. One last tip would be to really stipple the beard with finer dots, and to make the dots less symmetric. This would give you room to really control the five o’clock shadow 🙂
Thanks for your comment, and your suggestions for improvement. I find it interesting that you noticed a lot of the same details as being ‘off’ as I did – like the right eye throwing off the proportion (it would seem that there’s usually one eye in my face sketches that I’m never pleased with), the hair’s negative space, and the five o’clock shadow.
Now the detail about the shoulder: I am absolutely horrible at conveying certain body details sometimes, and the balance between shoulders – shoulders in perspective with one another (kinda like the trouble with one eye) is a common issue in a lot of my drawings. Certain perspective details concerning body parts do hang me up. I just try to muddle through the angles and tell myself I can ‘fix’ those later. I admit that is what is happening here. I was thinking about the shoulder details and I gave up so I just left it the way it was for now, since the face details were my primary focus. I mean, I thought about just cutting him off at the neck but then just seemed wrong. Nobody’s ever actually done that, you know 😏
Oh and thanks for noticing the ear and nose! I hate drawing noses -and I suck at drawing ears in a major way – but I’ll admit that I was pretty pleased with those two details. I have been practicing drawing ears and noses a lot lately, so I’m pleased that that is finally coming through better.
And I didn’t do the five o’clock shadow until the end, and I was unsure if I’d done it with too heavy a hand, so thanks for your input on that, too.
Hell, thanks for all your input. I appreciate when others aren’t too shy to give constructive criticism. Not a lot of people do
When I know I’m dealing with someone who can handle constructive input, I have no problem calling things as I see them. In your case, we both know that you have talent and a good eye, and your ego isn’t standing between you and what you do 🙂 I had a project, once: I stippled a grizzly bear on something like white matting paper, in ink, coming through some brush. The whole thing was awesome, except for the eyes. No matter how hard I tried, I could not stipple the damned eyes properly. In the end, out of frustration, I cut out the eye areas with a razor blade, turned the pieces of paper over and taped them back in place. Then I drew (not stippled) crossed eyes, and gave the thing to someone I went to school with. The poor bear … the problem is, I made the whole thing look very realistic, and a cross-eyed grizzly coming through some brush was, well … art is allowed to reflect the artist’s mood, I think 😉 We all have our Achilles’ Heels, I think … but if ears and noses are not usually your thing; then you are obviously advancing well beyond your traditional weaknesses with this picture. I look forward to seeing the finished product, no matter your level of end-satisfaction with it 🙂
And no reason to thank me for input – that’s why we are all gathered here in the blogosphere 😉
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