Have you ever looked at your portrait drawings and wonder why they don’t look realistic? Part of the reason they do not look realistic is because the edges within and around the portrait are too simplistic. Specifically the edges of the eyes, edges of the hair and the edges of the face in relationship to the background.

When it gets down to brass tacks, there aren’t enough angles within the drawing. There are too many macro angles and not enough micro angles. Think of Macro angles as broad strokes. Think of micro angles as detailed rendering with a fine brush.

One definitely needs to look more at the subject they are drawing. In this case a portrait of a male model drawn from life. You definitely want to get into the habit of looking at what you are drawing at least 50 to 60 percent of the time. A lot of artists have unintentionally developed the very bad habit of looking down at their pad too much.

Another contributing factor to overly simplistic edges, sitting too far away from the subject. In this case once again a male model drawn from life. When drawing someone’s portrait from life you want to be no further than six to eight feet away from the model.

Think about it, if you are trying to draw an iris which is a half an inch wide, sitting ten to fourteen feet away is not going to help you.

So the next time you analyze your drawings ask yourself the question, do I have enough angles? Are my edges too simplistic looking? Do I need to make my drawings more complicated by adding more angles to my edges?



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