Hi. I thought I’d post this because I think it it’s a pretty good demonstration of how much progress I’ve made in a relatively short time since I’ve been using PortraitMate.
The two drawings were done just over a year apart. That sounds like a reasonably long amount of time, but considering I went months on end during that year without picking up a pencil, I’m sure I could have made the same progress in a shorter timeframe if I’d really tried. To satisfy my own curiosity, I counted the amount of drawings I did in that year and it was only 15. Most of those I would have spent anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours on them, so realistically i probably could have done it in a few months if I’d made the time.
So anyway, the first drawing was done before I came across the method that would go on to become PortraitMate. I remember drawing the outline of the head and being really happy with it. It was always a bit hit and miss as to whether or not I got it right. Sometimes you’d draw it too thin, sometimes too fat, but I remember thinking I’d got this one right. To be honest, sometimes even now I think some of my drawings look too wide until you start shading them – I think the sketch I did of my nephew, Joseph, is a good example of this. The bit of shading on the jaw really helped define the face. I actually think I should have done a bit more, but it’s all part of the learning. Now at least I know that because i’m using PortraitMate the proportions are right, but I can see how easy it would be to start off wrong if you were doing the whole thing freehand. And if the groundwork of your proportions are wrong at the start, it’s going to be almost impossible to correct them later on.
After this drawing I did a couple more before I tried out the PortraitMate method. At first I was trying to get the angles with a protector on an iPad screen. Which kind of worked, but more often than not it was zooming in on the picture, or moving slightly between measuring the angles. This meant the drawings weren’t spot on, but I could already see an improvement in my sketches likeness to their subjects – see Mr Gates from Black Sails, Kathleen, Peter, Jimmy, Mary Anne and Paddy in the gallery – and I got the theory behind the method, so I figured I could try writing an app so that I could accurately get the reference points I needed to rapidly improve my portrait likeness even further. So I think that’s the point I’m currently at.
The portrait of Captain Flint, also from Black Sails, which by the way, is in my opinion the most criminally underrated TV show ever, but don’t get me started about that 😁 , is the first time I’ve made a second attempt at drawing the same subject and I’m really glad I did. I think it’s given me a good sense of how far I’ve come in a relatively short space of time. Now hopefully I’ll be able to find more time to keep practicing and hopefully keep improving.