On the weekend, I spent a day with the Australian National Capital Folk and Decorative Artists teaching them how to draw Audrey. We had a brilliant time drawing by the fire and enjoyed the delicious home-made dishes prepared by the group. They all did an absolutely fantastic job with their portraits!
Learning portraiture can be daunting. But when you approach it with an open mind, you can really have fun! Here are four things I shared with the group:
1. Observation is key
Spend time taking note of your surroundings. Observe the person you are about to draw or paint. Look at their features, facial expressions, characteristics. Start observing the world in terms of shapes, colours, light and shadow. You may have heard this before, "Draw what you see. Not what you think you see. " It's about capturing the moment, seeing what's in front of your eyes. Be present and take a special interest in your surroundings.
2. There are no rules
There is no one secret formula to drawing. One artist takes a different approach to another. Many artists are technically minded and teach their own methodology. In my workshop, I will show you my approach and I hope that you can benefit from it. Perhaps you will discover your own.
3. Trial and error
There is no 'getting it right', especially not at the first go. It's all about trial and error. Skills are built on constant and deliberate practice. Keep practicing and you will keep on getting better!
4. Have fun!
This is the most important principle of all. Enjoy it! Your portrait is a journey, a story that unfolds. Joy comes from the experience and doesn't have to tied to the result.
These are not hard and fast rules, but rather an approach that I recommend. I would encourage you to create your own rules and use an approach that works for you.