As well as writing and learning all about the history of portraiture and art in general. I am attempting to learn the skill of portraiture. Having never studied art or the creation of art in any form as far as education goes, it is somewhat of an uphill struggle to learn one of the more demanding disciplines of art in the form of portraiture, but I am confident that with time and practice, I can become better at this, my chosen discipline.
So far I have tried to paint portraits using watercolour. Both directly (without any pencil sketching) and indirectly (pencil sketching first). Whilst the results achieved in this process were far from brilliant, it did highlight lots of weaknesses within my initial planning and layout of a portrait.
So I decided to go back to the beginning and really throw myself into the world of pencil sketching and charcoal sketching. Admittedly I have found the whole process of learning to shade and add form to what is in reality a flat piece of paper, really hard going. But I persevere and now I am starting to see results and improvements.
Below is a small gallery of some of the sketches I have been doing over the last week or so, using just pencils of varying grades.
The way I have approached learning to draw/sketch, is a zero pressure approach. With the knowledge that if the sketch goes awry or I make a mess of it, it matters not and there is always the next sketch to improve on. With this mind-set I have found that I am able to experiment with shading techniques and give myself plenty of time to learn from the mistakes I am making.
I am finding that learning to draw is really helping me with my observational skills and hopefully this will in the end, transfer across to my watercolour painting and give me the basis on which I can improve my techniques.