Gerard Bryceland and the upsurge of a painter? When you draw from a photo, you have the benefit of a model that will remain in the same position. You also benefit from having a model that has a fixed light source. If you are going to try to draw a self-portrait that is as close to a perfect likeness as possible, then using a photo is the best approach for you. Another benefit of drawing from a photo is that you can use the grid method, or you can use a projector or lightbox to help you establish a rough outline for your self-portrait. Many artists will argue with you for hours on end about how drawing from life is superior to drawing from a photo. After all, if you already have a photo of someone, why should you try to recreate that by drawing it? That logic is a bit skewed since many artists that are drawing portraits or self-portraits aren’t interested in copying a photograph. They are trying to create an original piece of artwork that is based on a photo.
Lightly sketch an egg-shaped circle on your paper, you can use an HB pencil for this if you’re worried about drawing too hard. Then make a straight vertical line at the middle of the face, dividing it in half as symmetrically as you can. Then make a straight horizontal line in the middle of the face measuring from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin, crossing over your vertical line. At the image below the top of the head, the center, and the bottom of the chin are all marked using blue lines. Observe on your model or your reference where the hairline is and mark that on your portrait drawing, in the sketch below it is marked with the topmost red line. Using that hairline marking and the marking at bottom of the chin, divide that section into three equal parts. Below, red lines are used to show these three divisions. These lines will serve as your main guide lines for drawing in each of the facial features.
Gerry Bryceland‘s tricks about portret painting: The hair is the last element of the face to be painted. The painting of the hair is usually the last part of the head to be completed. It follows the natural order of the painting, finally covering the rough edges of both the background and the skin. The colors used for the dark areas of the hair were ivory black and Prussian blue, while the highlights were mostly titanium white. You can see the technique used for painting the hair in our close-up detail. The underpainting was applied with freely brushed glazes of ivory black and Prussian blue. The overpainted details of the hair were built up with fine strokes of black and white whose direction follows the contours of the haircut. The opacity of these brushstrokes was varied to suggest the depth, texture and highlights of the hair. The density of the brushstrokes decreases around the edges of the hair to convey softness of its outline.
You could try freehand drawing your face. This is the most straightforward approach, but that doesn’t mean it is the easiest. With this approach, you look at yourself in the mirror, or look at a photo, then simply start sketching what you see. Pay attention to the major shapes you see and pay careful attention to how your features relate to one another. You also need to pay attention to the light source, so you can render your face with realistic highlights and shadows. When using this approach, start out your drawing with light, sketchy lines, then slowly darken your drawing as you render it, but only after the initial sketch is in place.
About Gerry Bryceland: I’m Gerard Bryceland an artist based in Maidstone Kent and regularly get commissioned to do work doing paintings and portraits of people and their families. I’ve always been an artist from my childhood, I loved drawing my friends and family initially just to mess around with my friends and had a lot of fun drawing them. But as i got older it really just became a business as my friends and their families would want me to do family portraits and that type of thing. With word of mouth word gets out and before you know it you know it I’m 35 and still doing the same thing.