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Portrait blues

I’m writing this as a future reference to myself, and for the folk who do portraits and struggle with perspective.

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Meet Sahirah. Outspoken, a bundle of joy and banter, and an absolute pleasure to work with, she is the heart and soul of our Fijian expedition team.

For starters, while I am accustomed to making portraits face-on (as in a forward facing position akin to passport photos), this Sketch of Sahirah’s face proved to be a little challenging for me, since I have little experience in sketching different perspectives. Another unique feature of this picture would be the variety of lighting in the picture, with the obvious one on the left side of Sahirah’s face, and another light source illuminating the edges of the right side of her face.

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The first 5 minutes of my sketch was dedicated to getting the positioning of Sahirah’s face as close to that in the picture.

By no means close, the positioning of the head was crucial for me to get a good start on Sahirah’s face, which will determine the shading angles and surfaces further on.

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A rough shading profile of Sahirah’s face. Note that I put a great emphasis on the glow on Sahirah’s right cheek (left of the portrait).

I kept the focus mainly on the contrast provided by the different sources of lighting, as I thought they were the main features of this photo study. Finishing up after that then was a matter of getting the hair right.

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There we go. although I didn’t think I get the hair right. Sorry Sahirah ://

For the post-mortem, I think I captured the basics just right, but fumbled on the finer details such as the lighting on Sahirah’s right cheek (our left side of screen), where I think a gentler contrast would have done a better job, instead of trying to force a band of light onto her face. Another comment I’d give myself probably lies with the hair, where I think I could have been so much better but isn’t, but that’s about it. Given enough time and practice, I think I’d be able to perfect this style of drawing, but only time will tell. What do you guys think? Thanks for looking through and let me know in the comments below; and wherever you are, make today a nice one 😀

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