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?
Let us know what you think. Leave us a comment below.
If you need a helping hand analyzing your own artwork take a peek at our One Time Coaching. We can help you figure out how to take your drawings up to higher level of quality today!
I’ve never been to any art school, you are my teacher. I’m 60 and love to draw portraits. I do ok but that’s it, just ok with no realism. What I took away from this discussion is more detail, more value. I watch what you do and to me it comes so natural to you, your accidents are better than my intentional drawing. I hope someday I can draw 1/2 was good.
Keep teaching your a natural.
Thanks for the kinds words. Keep at with those portraits!
Thank you for this! I do a lot of quick on site sketches of people in places as they are moving around, but this gave me a few more things to look at as I am drawing. Granted everything I do right now is fast and again people are always moving, but to look at those angles I am sure will help to put more realistic appeal into my work in my sketch pad. I now need to take it from sketch pad to larger paper or canvas. Thanks again I have always enjoyed learning form you, specially learning things they didn’t teach me in school.
Have a great day,
Now I Know why my drawings look like ghost at times.
Amazingly, I could watch it via Firefox.
Thank you for sharing it.