Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Portrait of Jill with Colored Pencils

Portrait of Jill with Colored Pencils and ink pen
I did this portrait of Jill with colored pencils and ink pen at the first meeting of our artist group. I set up a still-life for the group to sketch, but then I asked the group if it was OK if I drew one of the members. Jill said it was fine, and she also approved my posting this particular drawing on my blog. I did two others, but I felt this one looked more like her, although maybe a Jill Caporlingua who is twenty years younger. I left the spiral on the left of my sketchbook in the reproduction for the web to give the viewer the idea that this is a sketch and not a finished portrait.

I did the pen part of this drawing without looking at the paper; I just stared at Jill’s head and let my hand do the work on the paper. This is called “contour drawing.” It is a great way to learn how to draw.

In case any of you would like a drawing exercise, here’s one for our next artist group meeting:
Draw (or paint) an everyday object. It can be depicted as realistically or as abstractly as the individual desires.
Suggestions: scissors, salt shaker, pillow, curtains, stapler, fork

I did a few sketches and then I did a painting of a salt shaker. I looked in Google Images – lots of other artists have also drawn salt shakers as a subject.

Hannah says

Interesting that several of you drew a salt shaker. I am sure sketching someone is much harder!

Leora says

One of the "tricks" to drawing people is to pretend they are just a shape. One book suggested turning a photograph upside down and then draw.

Salt shakers are fun to draw. But it is hard to show scale - my salt shaker looks gigantic. Not sure how to solve that issue. When/if I reproduce the painting, I will show it to the scale of a salt shaker or smaller.

Lorri says

Upside down...clever idea!

I like this portrait! Love the hair and glasses! I can see how drawing the hair would might not be too difficult by just drawing and not looking.

Leora says

Part of the issue is the mindset. If you think difficult, yes, it will be difficult. If you just see an object with details, then you can simplify and draw.

RamblingWoods says

I like this and your pointers...Michelle

Jill Caporlingua says

I love the drawing and my sense of vanity likes looking 20 years younger!


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