Category Archives for Art

Which Type Of Surfaces Do You Require For Landscape Painting?

As far as easels go whatever you might decide upon ensure that it is definitely sturdy. The folding ones are a superb choice to invest your money in. An easel is not really a must have item, but they can prove very useful if you have to move around. These you can take anywhere to suit your needs.

This gives you the freedom to head out to the countryside, town squares, gardens, parks, homes, etc., wherever you like. It gives you total freedom. In the past I have used an old school blackboard stand as a prop for my work. Even that is better than trying to work on a flat surface. Personally I was lucky enough to pick up a second-hand easel, however this is not the best sort that can be acquired in art suppliers now. As a contemporary artist I prefer an easel that does not wobble!

Probably the best that can be acquired on the market today are the ones called the radial. These I have been informed will hold a painting up to 52 inches or the equivalent in centimetres high. Most likely these are the best you can buy for use in your home. One only requires to see one to note that they are equally strong and firm.

Even once you acquired an easel you will still need something at hand to put your working tools on. At some stage I used to use an old tea trolley which was useful, not only could you move it around to suit your needs, but I found that I could manage to get all my equipment on it. This saved time getting up and down for things. They are easy to pick up at car boot sales, local auctions, tip or antique shops.

A normal palette with a thumb hole is an absolute must for your kit. Some people tend to use brown wood ones. To my mind I would always use the white trays, as with these they convey your colours better. In fact, I find myself using glass and enamel plates or china saucers. A friend of mine, who is also a contemporary painter, simply uses plain glass with white paper below it.

Surfaces to paint on will differ. Different types seem more suitable according to your various times and needs. Money does not really come in to it. Many people prepare and stretch their own canvasses. Usually you find it is better to have several canvasses at hand. Although really you can use hardboard, canvas, plywood or many other backings for your work. The point to be realised is, you need a different assortment of sizes and shapes.

If you generally only work on one painting at a time it does not matter, from my own experience I often have about three on the go at any one time. It is very frustrating if you run out of surfaces to paint on when you are currently feeling inspired.

This ought to give you an idea of what your needs are. Once you have these you have to add brushes, palette knives, turps and turps substitute, drying and linseed oils plus maybe some other mediums. A household brush normally comes in handy together with the paints themselves and containers. Hope you will enjoy your creations.

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Calming Tranquility From Sketching Landscapes Throughout The Seasons

In this age where valuable free time is so hard to come by, where do we find relaxation, peace or solitude from the frantic life of today with all its trials and tribulations. People use this time in different ways but I am certain that many opt for some sort of peace and tranquility.

As a contemporary artist that enjoys nature, I often head to the country to admire the wonderful landscapes, mountains, trees, lakes, flowers, birds etc. The effect they have on me is relaxing. The rare beauty of this stirs my emotions. Often I capture these scenes on camera, so that the memory remains with me.

The colours in the country are inspiring – whether in winter or summer. I appreciate the starkness of winter when the trees are stripped empty, the first snows and naturally the pattern that frost makes, whether on the window panes, cars,etc…. Possibly the colours are at their Sunday best in the autumn.

Amazing too are the rustling leaves and falling twigs as they appear to dance like an Autumn Concerto. The reds, browns, golden yellow and the leaves partly disintegrated are really something together with the conkers falling at your feet.

I have spent a fair bit of time in County Kerry where the scenes are naturally rugged which is impressive to the eye of a contemporary painter. If you head on towards Dingle the natural movement of the waterfalls at Muckross Pass takes your breath away. The early morning mists as well are something to behold.

Different things capture peoples emotions, personally I am quite happy to stroll along a deserted beach at any season of the year. Observe the birds, watch the sun dappling on the water, or the flow of the tide as it comes in and moves out. Even see children playing, running in and out of the water, making sandcastles, or dogs roaming free off the leash. One thing is for sure, maybe one of the finest things to capture is the early morning sunrise or the evening sunset in all their glory. This is beauty at its finest.

Spring as well, is an amazing season when you see the first gentle buds appearing on trees, hedges and bushes. Snowdrops and tender Celandiles pushing their way up through the grounds.
Easter on towards May brings the wonderful array of nodding Bluebells which are abound in plenty of our local woods and forests mingling amongst the Buttercups and Ferns.

Then we are into the colourful blaze of summer. At that time the trees are ready to be adored. Flowers are in full bloom creating eye catching displays which lift our spirits. Hues and patches of tender tones which warm the soul, to very bright and passionate colours which knock our socks off.

Skylines too are amazing. The cloud formations are always enjoyable with their delicate and also very strong tints. Red skies are wonderful, relating to you that the next day is going to be golden.

Is it any wonder then people enjoy painting Landscapes? You have all the inspiration you could possibly need. As you can gather you are surrounded by subjects. Whether you capture them on camera first, or do them from memory. Pick up you pencil and seize the day!

This article was written by Anna Meenaghan of

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What Items Do You Need For Superb Pastel Painting?

Often you see pastel paintings in exhibitions and wonder how the artist arrived at the finished product?

PENCIL – When you go to a shop to choose pastels they often appear quite gaudy colours or very dull, so I think people are often not sure which to choose.

As a contemporary artist I would say you are better not to choose to many colours to begin with. Nowadays you can choose ready selected boxes to suit a certain type of subject. It rarely happens that you wish to use all the colours in the box.

Usually you are better to choose just a few colours that you know you will use. As an example – initial colours for say landscapes, plenty of different greens, but some neutral colours possibly to blend in or to highlight various areas.

PALETTES – You are the artist so you want to choose wisely, but generally, I personally would include the following: Cadium Yellow, French Ultramarine, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Olive Green, Crimson Lake, White, Lamp Black and perhaps another shade of yellow and red. There are also different varieties of pastels, so this has to be taken into the equation.

OIL – These do not crumble, but you cannot mix them with other pastels. On the other hand they are great because they do not smudge easily, good for fine work, because they do not crumble.

SOFT – These are crumbly, colourful, they smudge, are great to blend with and ought to cover quite large spaces.

HARD – Easy to erase, not so crumbly and superb for first sketches.

I am a contemporary painter and would advice you that it is better to pay a tiny bit more for your paints if you want your work to last well. The pigments are usually better and therefore less likely to fade. If you want to keep your pastels clean keep them in a box. Ensure you cover the box inside with ground rice. The roughness of the rice rubs against the pastels, it cleans any filth they may have picked up which they often get from rubbing against each other.

Obviously you need to wipe them over before you use them.

Normally a lot of people just keep them in a box lined with corrugated paper or in improvised supermarket package trays. It is often advisable to work with your painting on a tilt as then, specks of the pastels that crumble will simply drop off.

Last but not least it is advisable to have your paper secured to a board wider than the paper you are using.

All in all take time to choose the paper you use and most important of all – enjoy your art!…

Pastels are generally a good medium to start painting with and everyone has to start somewhere. They are easily accessible to the general public to buy, whether in the stores, art shops or maybe a local stationers. They vary in price considerably, but some sell on the market quite cheaply.

So there is something within the range of all pockets. Adults and children alike love experimenting with them, they take up little space so they are so easy to carry on your person together with a small sketchbook.

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What Tools Do You Really Need For Painting?

Materials are important to the artist and like a lot of things in life, it is better to obtain the best that you can possibly afford. Painting isn´t always an easy craft – so your tools are clearly important to you.

For example, if you choose mediocre materials the final result arrived at will probably reflect this.

If you go for quality it should certainly obtain improved results.

As a contemporary artist I can tell you that you require a firm support to paint on, together with a mixed selection of colours and certainly good brushes. Brushes are important! You need one that is both clean, a naturally good shape, but that is also flexible. With a good brush you can draw freely and not only make a certain size brushmarks.

If you use short, bristled brushes they do not seem to give a particularly good finish.

If, for example, you want to draw a persons head you require an amount of flexibility and a precise touch. To achieve this you need to be drawing with the paint continually and in small accurate strokes.

As brushes go I find that it is good to have a few sables that are pointed, as well as a few hog hair brushes. If you use a flat brush you can get delicacy by lying it on its side.

If you wish to draw well and put down patches of colour, you need brushes that have fairly long hair, filbert, round or flat, so they are flexible.

When you get yourself good quality brushes then they should stay in shape well, but it is a requirement that they are washed at the end of each painting session. It is pretty clear they will not be good for long unless you treat them well.

What will help you? Well, being a contemporary painter, I usually keep an old jam jar filled with turps substitute at my side. This you can use for cleaning out your brushes whilst you are painting and of course when you finish your work for the day. It is recommended that you should clean them thoroughly in this, preferably dry them on an old piece of rag and then finally it is usual to give them a wash with some soap and water.

It is better to hold the soap in one hand and rub the brushes across it, then clean them gently in your hand with your fingers. Then rinse in water and then start to reshape the bristles with your fingers.

This sounds a lot to do, but really should never take long to do, but it is important.

Sometimes if you are tired you may forget to do this and then find you will be mad with yourself the following day.

Actually most people seem to collect quite a varied collection of brushes but end up using only six or seven at a time. As with everything else you have your favourites and really you do not necessarily need a large stock. You find that you still use your very old ones. These are very good on wide areas of painting as they are well worn and this saves on your newer brushes as it tends to wear them down.

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Uncovered! The Well Kept Secret To Varnishing Oil Paintings!…

As a contemporary artist I only know too well that oil paintings always require varnishing. Firstly they need protection.

Once varnished the painting has a tough layer over the paint, so it is easier to handle as it can then be cleaned. If the painting is left unvarnished it could easily get damaged. As the painting dries out the oil paint tends to get duller and gives a matt finish. However, you must not varnish until the paint is completely dry and this can take a considerable amount of time.

I think at times you would probably need to clean it first. Ordinary liquid detergent should be quite sufficient to do this. Using only a very small amount diluted with cold water to cover the surface of the picture, rubbing it very gently with a soft soaked piece of rag. Then maybe do the same with clean water, so there is no residue of the detergent used. It then has to be left to dry thoroughly in a warm atmosphere.

Personally I would state that it is better to do your varnishing somewhere that has a good dry atmosphere with warmth. If the atmosphere is moist, the varnish often may appear to go into patches of white, which I personally find infuriating.

Now it is possible to obtain good spray varnishes which dry fairly quickly. A contemporary painter would probably prefer to apply varnish with a brush. Probably a fairly wide, soft brush is best. Generally better if the varnish, brush and painting have been near heat so there is no damp. Put the painting on a flat surface. I pour some varnish into an old tin lid and then very carefully and gently brush on.

It is tempting to go backwards and forwards and overbrush – not so good – as the varnish tends to create bubbles. Easier if you have a small painting, because you can go straight across from one side to the other. You have to endeavour to get as even and as thin a coat as you can. Tendency is to overvarnish, giving a thick layer and an annoying glossy finish.

If your painting is large it is somewhat easier to divide it into square sections and work laboriously on one part at a time. Once you have applied the varnish do try not to disturb it.

Then you need to find a place to put the picture where, while you are working on it, you can see where the light shows on the varnish. This way it will enable you to see any places that you may have inadvertently missed.

Your picture then needs to be in a hopefully dust free area if possible, with the face side up.
Then you may find that you need to retouch your varnish. Obviously for this you need a thinned down varnish, especially where you may have what appears to be dull parts. Just be careful not to use too much, but it is quite alright to use it on top of half dry paint.

It is fairly usual to think the painting looks dull as it is drying – this is often the result of overpainting layers.

This article was written by Anna Meenaghan of http://annameenaghanart.combr /

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Is Art Something To Be Experienced?

Art presents itself in a variety of shapes and forms today – to me it is always interesting and gratifying to appreciate other peoples art. You don´t necessarily have to enjoy it personally to accept the hard work that has gone into it and the thought behind it.

As a contemporary artist myself – I find it gives you freedom to express your inner workings.

If I had a bad day it probably reflects in my paintings appearing more dramatic. On the other hand I also find it calming to paint seasoned skies.

Art is a very personal thing, what appeals to one person, others despise – the appeal is in the eye of the beholder. As a contemporary painters I find that these days there so many things classified as art which makes it more satisfying. As an idea take spray painting, some people do this but also use stencils. Myself I often really admire some of the spray gun graffiti scene. Very cunning youngsters do some amazing creations. Although many people would view this as vandalism.

Just look at pavement artists sketching out their pictures in chalk. This surely is a talent, but one that a lot of passers by can enjoy but yields the artist very little money. Many of us have been to Paris and the “Montmartre” region where the artists set their easels on the pavements doing quick caricatures much to everyones amazement and amusement.

More unusual possibly are sand sculptures which feature in the Canary Islands and I am sure other places. They range from biblical scenes to dragons with real fire breathing out of there nostrils.

Mosaics too are very interesting and colourful as these designs can be used on plant pots, walls, gardens etc. and in oh so many ways.

Posters – somebody has to design them so they are thought provoking and catch the eye.

This is a amazing challenge for children too, who are encouraged to do posters for any number of things from road safety to recycling the environment. I love to see what sense can be made of driftwood collected along the beach. I imagine a special type of person is needed to do this with a very good imagination and creativity.

On this theme also delightful paper weights can be made from nice pebbles once they are cleaned, painted and varnished. It is also fun searching for the pebbles in all kinds of shapes and feeling how smooth they are when you run your fingers over them.

Designing and making your own cards not only brings enjoyment to many, but also brings individuality to the recipient.

Papermache is another form of art I have never tried, but I really like the results that people manage to achieve. Decoupage in this day and age seems to be very popular, along with scrapbooking, felting, patch working and needlepoint.

There are so many forms of art there surely must be something to suit everyone. Help is at hand as there are many workshops running in many crafts stores as well as local schools. Art brings fulfilment to many people, creating it or enjoying the art of others – it also relaxes you and can make you a host of new friends, so enjoy !…

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Tips On Pencil Portrait Rendering – Rendering A Chin Supporting Hand Including Shoulders

Including a hand in your portraits adds a major measure of excitement but can quickly destroy an otherwise fine portrait if done incorrectly.

The goal is to incorporate the hand so that it is not only proportionally and gestural right, but is in agreement in personality with the expression of the face.

For instance, an agreeable facial expression juxtaposed with a clenched fist may not yield the effect you want unless you intend to add an ironic twist to your portrait. On the other hand, a hand supporting the head fits very well with a stern scowling expression.

First, absolute beginners should not be attempting to sketch both the hand and portrait together. Things will quickly get muddled. The lesson for the absolute novice here is to get an understanding of the importance of acquiring a solid foundation of your skill.

In a pose where a hand supports the head there exists a subtle forward tilt because the subject is slightly hunched and leaning forward. For the artist, this situation translates into the presence of a subtly foreshortened and reclined portrait. In the hand/skull case this means that the chin is slightly receding relative to the forehead.

As always, you should start with the all encompassing arabesque, which in this situation, includes the hand and the shoulder. If you first sketch the head and then attach the hand to it you are really asking for problems. The hand and the skull will lack harmony and will give the awkward impression that they are two distinct objects that are coincidentally juxtaposed.

When striking the complete arabesque be aware of the negative as well as the positive spaces. Also, do not pre-measure any aspects of the construct. It should be rendered with as much flair as possible without losing your sense of proportion. Strike first then verify.

Further build upon the construct by positioning the face, hand, and shoulder signpost
s and sizes. The internal architecture of the construct is initiated by hatching-in the keydarks and painting out the lights with a putty eraser.

What you are doing is to set the stage for rendering the facial features, the hand, and the shoulder. The hand must be established and sized in accordance with the skull and the facial features. The compression of the jaw into the palm must also be reckoned with.

Employing a sharp pencil you can now further develop the tone and shape with blending, stumping down, and erasing. In this, you will be going back and forth hoping that you know when to quit. Sketching is about making decisions, i.e., knowing what to build up and, just as significant, knowing what to leave out.

In the hand/skull case you have to be extra careful how far you develop the hand. The hand should be seen as an extra element, that is, a supporting element that should not be part of the focus. Do not feel compelled to finish every element in your sketch. Everything in drawing is about equilibrium and communicating your intent directly to the viewer’s eye.

In conclusion, it is critical to see the hand and the shoulder as parts of one whole. Starting your sketch with sketching the complete arabesque will help you greatly with maintaining this unity. Treat the hand and shoulder as props that surround the face. This means that you should draw them in a subordinate role.

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Remi Engels is a pencil portrait artist and oil painter and skilled sketching teacher. See his work at pencil portraits.

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Tips On Pencil Portrait Drawing – The Tilted Skull Pose

To create interesting fluid portraits that breathe life you must appreciate the effect of the spine on the head and /
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To produce a relaxed feeling in your portraits quite often you will need to render the head slanted. Most people when they are at ease will pose with their head slightly tilted. In this article we will point out what to look for and how to tackle the slanted /
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In the tilted skull view the subject will show a clear change of direction from the action of the torso to the slant of the skull. Also take note of where the shoulders are. The models shoulders will almost be aligned with the bottom of the /
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With this information in mind, the first step is to gauge the angle of the heads slant (from the base of the chin to the top of the head) before drawing the construct. To do this hold your pencil (or a knitting needle) at arms length, closing one eye, and adjust the angle of the held pencil so that it corresponds to the angle of the slant. Keeping your arm straight and locked you can now transpose this angle onto the drawing. br /
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Now that the angle of the tilt is established you can draw the construct and validate the height/width /
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The axis of the features is perpendicular to the tilted facial angle. A common trend while sketching is to straighten out the features so that they are horizontal to the paper. Be aware of this and ever on-guard because this trend is subtle and is constantly trying to sneak into the /
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It is not a recommended practice to locate all of the features at this stage. It is actually more proper to first fix the brow line and the bottom of the nose and work from /
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When the head is slanted you should also be conscious of the effect that gravity has on the face. The flesh, in particular on the underside of the jaw, will be somewhat pulled down. This effect is quite delicate but for those of you who are advanced portraitists you should capture this in your original construct. If you are a beginner just put this information away for future /
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Take note, too, of the neck. The significant visible neck muscle is extended. Its companion is shortened. This opposite muscle action is referred to as abduction/adduction. This action of the neck always renders a striking /
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Once the arabesque is positioned and you are satisfied with its accuracy relative to proportion and shape you can render the features and block-in the main big darks and lights. Keep the tone simple. The more complicated the lighting arrangement, the more this /
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The value arrangements are worked further, but are still somewhat crude and unresolved. The primary concern is the overall light effect. br /
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There are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to finish the sketch:br /
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1. Ask yourself how far you want to carry the sketch. You can get a real nice effect if you give the shoulders and upper torso an unresolved quality. Remember, sketches are not meant to resemble /
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2. As you gain a better understanding of the facial structure the tendency exists to sketch what you know rather than what is actually there. So make sure you always pause to observe the life model or the subject in the /
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In closing, the slanted skull pose is special in that the features will be centered on a tilted axis and that the stress in the shoulders will be different from one side to the other. Also the transition from the torso and shoulders to the skull should be carefully observed. br /
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Do you want to learn the secrets of pencil portrait sketching? Download my brand new free pencil portrait drawing course here: a href= target=_blankportrait drawing tutorial/ /
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Remi Engels is a pencil portrait artist and oil painter and practiced sketching teacher. See his work at a href= target=_blankpencil portraits/ /
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Instructions On Pencil Portrait Rendering – Employing Item In Portraits

Posing your subject surrounded by a few props can add much attention, dimension, and appeal to a portrait and goes a long way to describing your model. A prop can add appreciably to the composition of the portrait.

Drawing a portrait with a prop, such as a hat or even ear muffs, requires you to above all pay heed to the complete arabesque.

Quite often the novice artist will be tempted to approach a prop as a separate entity or an afterthought so that rather than complimenting and blending in a supporting function with the subjects face, it looks artificial and overwhelms the model or is incorrectly proportioned or drawn.

In this expose you will learn the expert approach to rendering a prop item that frames the center of interest even with a supporting entity that is bigger than the face.

First, the presence of a prop does not change the approach to sketching the pencil portrait. As with sketching any other portrait, you should employ all your usual fundamental knowledge and apply them throughout the normal processes of your sketching effort.

So as always, you start with the arabesque which in the case where the head and the supporting element overlap will be a construct which is a complete arabesque that encompasses not only the shape and proportions of the skull but also of the contour of the supporting element where it overlaps with the skull.

In the context of the presence of a supporting entity that overlaps with the skull, the construct becomes of crucial significance. It helps a lot with the maintenance of cohesion. If you do not render from the reference of a construct, the skull and the prop will appear as separate structures.

While you work through the succeeding stages of your portrait rendering (proportions, landmarks, blocking-in, blending, etc.) you should constantly be aware of the fact that your prop item should not overwhelm the face of your subject.

The face of your subject should remain the primary focus. Your drawing should not turn into a still life of your supporting item that also happens to show a persons face in the background.

One trick that can help you with understating of the prop element is to only render the merest of details inside the supporting item. Another one is to soften the values of the prop element but only if it this appropriate in the context of the overall intent of your sketch.

Again, we cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining the cohesion between your subject and the prop item. That is why it is significant that you render from the construct which already links the subject and your prop element as one overall object. Of course, this also implies that you do the toning in a similar spirit and not overdo the lines and values that separate the model and the supporting element.

So, in closing, the key considerations when including supporting entities in your sketch are to make sure that the arabesque covers the entire outline of the skull and the props entities.

In addition, be sure that at all times you keep in mind that the supporting items should never become the focus of your drawing. If you stick to these guidelines, the use of supporting elements should never become a problem for you.

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Advice On Pencil Portrait Drawing – The Side View

A strange thing about drawing the profile view is that novices find it much easier than the other views. Yet, the advanced draftsperson can find the side view quite /
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For the advanced draftsperson the test lies in the struggle to affect a 3-dimensional sculptured /
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Looking at the construct in the side view observe how the head is broken down into straight lines. Using these architectonic lines communicates a firmness of /
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In the start, you should keep the forms simple. Also at this time, do not draw all the profiled features. There are two reasons for this:br /
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1. It is very likely that even the most talented artist will be off, andbr /
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2. Once a line is established the logical center of your brain will consider that relationship as accurate one. Therefore, it will look proper to you but everyone else will see the mistake. br /
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There is a better way. You begin with drawing the construct using architectonically straight lines. The main concerns are putting in place the general proportions and shape properly. At a more advanced level you should also consider rhythm and /
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Instead of immediately incorporating the nose into the arabesque you should make use of the facial angle, i.e., the line from the forehead to the chin that breaks at the bottom of the nose. The marker reference for the bottom of the nose is the small ledge-like /
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A plumb-bob is an good device for rightly placing the bottom of the nose. A plumb-bob is a length of wire (preferably black carpet thread) that has a weight attached to it. The plumb-bob is employed to verify vertical alignments (when working with life models) and their relationships to that vertical line. The vertical line is referred to as the /
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Aligning the plumb-line to the chin allows you more rightly to see the relationship of brow to chin. The brow is set back from the chin. Note that the entire area of chin and mouth is referred to as the /
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Having confirmed that the initial construct and facial angle are right you can now proceed with placing the facial proportions, chief anatomical landmarks, and the hair-line. So, at this point do not even think about drawing the complete nose. Rendering the nose at this point is a sure remedy for disaster. The angle of the nose and the creation of the tip require a high degree of /
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Instead, begin to lay down the general light/dark /
The lights are painted out using a putty eraser. The look we are looking for is that of a ghost image. That means, above all, not to add details. Also, work from the general to the /
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Once the general light/dark pattern is developed then the profiled features can be done. employing a very sharp pencil you can work upwards from the chin to the forehead carefully observing the shape. As you sketch mutter the anatomical definitions of each feature that you construct. You would be amazed at how that clarifyies the sketching process. Having an understanding of the facial anatomy will set your portrait sketching miles ahead of those who do not. br /
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The tip of the nose, particularly, requires anatomical reconstruction to get it /
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A common error novices make with the profile view is placing the eye too far forward. The eye sockets are recessed quite significantly into the head. If you drop a plumb-line from the inner corner of the eye you will observe that the eye aligns itself with the node of the /
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Further drawing and hatching values are accomplished with 2H and 4H pencils. Choosing how far you want to take your drawing is an visual decision you have to make yourself. If you want, you can leave the portrait somewhat /
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In conclusion, sketching the profile view involves the same general principles relevant to any view. In this case, the arabesque is particularly critical. The essential thing to remember is not to place the actual full features of the head too early in the /
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Do you want to learn the secrets of pencil portrait sketching? Download my brand new free pencil portrait drawing course here: a href= target=_blankportrait drawing course/ /
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Remi Engels is a pencil portrait artist and oil painter and expert drawing teacher. See his work at a href= target=_blankpencil portraits/ /
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Information On Pencil Portrait Sketching – Drawing Kids

The drawing of kids demands freshness and directness of purpose. Regrettably, there are not too many quick and ready rules. Let us just say that childrens portraits demand a sharp and patient /
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For those who intend to do commercial portraiture the good news is that kids portraits can be lucrative. There are very few artists who can competently draw /
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Soft lighting works best for portraits of kids. The child could be looking toward a intense light source. This sort of light source will light up the childs face and produce an introspective facial expression. The tone range goes from light to medium with the eyes really /
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Addressing the facial proportions of kids in a general sense is somewhat of a waste of time. Their facial proportions change dramatically within a six month time /
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Suffice it to say that the younger the child is the smaller the face in relation to the skull. The eyes also appear larger although this can be misleading. A kid’s nose can be a nightmare to draw – there is nothing really to hold onto. And the mouth is very delicate and sensitive not to mention its constant motion if you render from /
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If you do want to list some general sizes you can say that whereas an adult face is about half the size of the frontal head side, a childs face is about one-third of that size. Also, note how small an infants neck is compared to the size of the head. br /
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At its widest section, a babys face is about 5 eye widths wide. The width between the eyes is a tiny bit more than the width of an eye. Both the mouth and the nose are about the width of an eye. Again, we must stress that these sizes are only a broad rule and individual face sizes can be different. The above general rules can be employed for comparison purposes when you do your own careful observations of a particular face. br /
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As always, start your sketch by striking the arabesque and then correcting the height/width proportions as /
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After establishing the primary facial proportions (i.e., the brow, nose, mouth, etc.) block-in the major light/dark patterns. Then, stump down the graphite using your fingers or a stump. To render and re-shape the lights make use of a clean kneaded /
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Now the features are carefully placed, measured and partially drawn. There are two things to take into account here: br /
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1. Your pencils must be very sharp, andbr /
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2. At this point, you should never fully complete a feature. Draw each feature no more than 50%. br /
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Once the features are sized and located as best you can, you can now further expand them. Do not neglect the hair and sides of the face. All should be brought up together. As you proceed to render you should always be on the lookout for errors in proportions and /
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In conclusion, the fundamental processes used to draw a kids portrait are of course always the same. Above, we listed most of the differences in size and form between an adult head and that of a child. Your frame of mind when sketching a child should be one that reflects the innocence and the softness of a /
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Do you want to learn the secrets of pencil portrait sketching? Download my brand new free pencil portrait drawing tutorial here: a href= target=_blankportrait drawing course/ /
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Remi Engels is a pencil portrait artist and oil painter and skilled sketching teacher. See his work at a href= target=_blankpencil portraits by Remi/ /
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Tips On Pencil Portrait Drawing – Muscular Forms That Build The Smile

A smile is the result of happiness. It lifts and widens the lower face and the raised cheeks will often crease the skin just below the eyes creating the so-called crow’s feet.

To understand the makings of a smile in its numerous manifestations we must first grasp the underlying anatomy.

Below we list the three important muscles that add to a smile:

* The Zygomaticus Major – is the major muscle of happiness. This elongated muscle originates at the front area of the Zygomatic Arch (cheek bone) and inserts into the node.

When the zygomaticus major contracts it bulges and lifts the cheek while further deepening the Nasolabial Furrow or smile-line.

* The Malaris – rests on top of the zygomaticus major and is a extended, ribbon-like deep-seated muscle. It starts at the temple and inserts into and forms the lower part of the nasolabial furrow.

The malaris is the cheek muscle. It heaves up the cheek in an outward and backwards bearing making it bulge and giving it the puffed cheek look.

* The Buccinator – quadrilateral muscle forms the cheek cushion. It starts on the back, inside of the jaw and attaches to the nodes of the mouth.

When smiling the buccinator shrinks thus pulling at the nodes and broaden the mouth.

As the mouth is extended and heaved by both the zygomaticus major and buccinator the lips are stretched and flattened. So is the chin. The philtrum is reduced and the nostrils flare slightly.

Below are still other minor muscles that add to the smile:

1. The Risorius – is a curious muscle because not each person has one. Some people only have a risorius on one side of the face. Others have a large, extensive triangular shaped one.

The Risorius originates in the fatty tissue of the Masseter (whose action is used largely for chewing) and inserts into the node of the mouth.

The risorius delicately draws the node backwards and up. Its effect is generally observed in gentle smiles.

2. Incisivus Labii Superioris and Inferioris Superioris – The superioris does the heaving. These thing, band-like muscles start just above the incisor tooth region and also attach to the node.

When fully contracted, a puckering up of the lips (a kiss) is produced.

3. The Levator Labii Superioris is a thin, quadrilateral muscle whose effect on the smile is to some extent limited.

However, the higher part of this muscle contributes to the volume of the cheek and the nasolabial furrow.

Over the three major muscles goes the most complex of all the facial muscles, the Orbicularis Oris which operates throughout a large range of movements and expressions.

During a smile the lower eyelids are also pressed upward. This is the result of a secondary action where the Orbicularis Oculi (the muscle of the eye socket) contracts.

The nasolabial furrow is deepened as it is simultaneously drawn and pressed upwards and outwards. It is best to understate the sharp fold of the nasolabial furrow otherwise the smile will degenerate into a grimace.

As the node of the mouth is pulled out and upwards the skin is gathered into delicate vertical ridges.

The interstice of the mouth curves upward, broadening and flattening the lips while reducing the philtrum. The nostrils of the nose also extend as they are heaved outwards.

The upper portion of the smile-line is created by a slender, 3-part muscle called the Levator Labii Superioris Alaeque Nasi. This is the muscle that produces wrinkles in the nose during sniffing.

The elements of this muscle are the furrow portion which attaches to the upper part of the nasolabial furrow; the alar portion which inserts under and behind the wing of the nose (Alae Nasi); and the lip part which attaches continuously into the ridge just above the upper lip and to the philtrum.

When drawing the smile-line be careful not to over-do it. A delicate suggestion is all that is needed. Otherwise your lovely smile will quickly degenerate into a sneer.

With this we have enumerated and discussed the most relevant muscles that are involved in the smile. This should put you on the accurate path for recognizing the anatomy of the smile.

Do you want to learn the secrets of pencil portrait sketching? Download my brand new free pencil portrait drawing course here: pencil portrait tutorial.

Remi Engels is a pencil portrait artist and oil painter and practiced sketching teacher. See his work at pencil portrait.

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