I had an idea for a subject I really wanted to do so today I did another celebrity portrait. See if you can guess who he is. He’s a British actor who’s not quite as famous as he could have been but still fairly well known despite his best efforts. Silly man quit a popular TV show due to a fear of being type cast. I can understand how that would be a genuine concern for an actor but he should have known better. That ship already sailed as soon as he agreed to do just one season in the role.
I actually think this sketch turned out fairly well. I constructed it from the ground up and it actually worked this time. If only I knew what I did differently so that I could repeat it. Maybe all of those beach balls are actually helping somehow or maybe I just got lucky with this one. He does have quite a distinctive face. I’m thinking anyone who actually knows him will probably recognize him. My brother was able to guess it over Skype anyway.
I took a whole bunch of pictures as I went with this one. Partly I was curious to see the whole process for myself once it was done. I was also worried about screwing up the sketch, as always. The main reason for the photo log today though was because I kept having to stop partway through the sketch to take care of other things. I took a picture at each breaking point as well as the usual line art picture before shading and a picture of the initial robot head just to kind of show the application of that concept. So here’s an unnecessarily giant process outline:
Then I drew in the basic outlines of the face over top of my robot head, plotting out where all of the main features go.
Gave him some actual eyes and cleaned up the area around the ear a bit so that I could get a better idea of the actual shape of his head back there. I also had to move one of the eyes because they were too close together in the initial block in.
This was basically the clean up phase. Once I was relatively satisfied with where everything was it was time to get rid of all of the construction lines so that I could get a better idea of the actual face and move towards a proper line drawing.
This was the line drawing I ended up with. I had to lower the eyebrows a bit because they weren’t quite right but otherwise didn’t make many major changes between this and the above. Just tried to emphasize some of the major lines a bit better and clean up some of the shapes. I was pretty happy with this line drawing and felt like he was already recognizable in it. It helps that he has such a distinctive face. I’ve decided that it’s definitely important to have a solid line drawing though because it means that all of the basic structure is good. It’s much harder to fix (or even really see) major structural issues during the shading process.
So then this was the final result (same as above). You can see that there basically weren’t any changes between the line drawing and this. I was basically just colouring in… but without the colour … obviously. I think the only thing I really did anything to was the coat.
So that’s the whole process. Most of those weren’t really actual steps, just times when I happened to take pictures. Still, I think it’s kind of interesting to see what parts changed and what parts didn’t and what it looked like before and after. Some of you have expressed interest in these process posts so I thought I’d share. This is also the first time I’ve gone beginning to end starting with the full Loomis ball and plane construction and actually been happy with the result so I was interested in having the process up for myself to look back on. Hopefully this will be the start of a better trend and not just a fluke resulting from a really easy face.
I also drew some more of those beach balls for practice. I actually did these before I started the portrait. Maybe I managed to get all of the bad ones out of my system first and that’s why the portrait turned out better… I’m really not sure I’m getting any better with these. I still need to find a ping pong ball to draw some lines on so that I can get a better idea of where the divisions are. I’m fine with the first two lines (the centre line and the brow line) but I can never figure out where to put the third line (the ear line) in relation to the other two. I suppose I’ll figure it out eventually. When I do it will probably seem really obvious.