Classical Head #3

December 21, 2011

3B pencil (foundation) and 5B pencil (details), approx. A4 size.

This is the second-last in a series of four Roman busts, working from photographs. At the moment, it suits me psychologically to work on short series of sketches, one done every day for a week. That way, I can keep moving between genres. The protracted wet weather persists, so I’m building up resources for working indoors. 

I’m largely ignoring any light yellow or light blue tinges on the surface of the marble. I thought I’d stick, again, to an older face.

I paid a lot more attention today to the ‘whites’ of reflected light than in the previous sketches, keeping the darkest-of-the-darks to leading edges (for the most part) – otherwise they look like battle scars.

The heavy contour from ear to ear (including ears) wasn’t really called for, but I have in mind emulating the Robert Barrett style of classical heads sketched on tinted paper. I’ve even thought of cutting a piece of black paper and surrounding the heads to create a solid background.

I’m not happy with the proportions. In a similar way to Classical Head #1, I have inadvertently lengthened the head vertically. Consequently, I need to:  (1) assess “actual” proportions by treating the original photograph as something to be enlarged for a painting; and (2) revise Riven Phoenix’s Structure of Man lessons on skull proportions. With a bit of detective work, I’ll work out where I’m going wrong.

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