This is Mary, my new friend. I don't know much about her, other than she's had a little work done (shhh, friends don't tell), and girlfriend had some serious cheekbones.
All joking aside, I don't normally have access to human skulls to work from life, so turned to the trusty internet for photos. Did you know you can actually buy human skulls? I don't know who this was, other than "female human." This was someone's daughter, maybe sister, wife, mother. If I had a spare $2,000, I'd buy her, just to give her a home. I wonder if my skull will ever end up for sale on the internet. Hmm.
For some reason, this photo looks fine outside of Blogger, but horrible here. Sorry about that.
Work has definitely been taking too much time but I have still been able to sneak in a little drawing time. I've really been enjoying drawing portraits from vintage photos, using charcoal on Rives toned papers. This one is 11"x14".
This is charcoal on Rives toned paper, and is based on a vintage photo from the early twenties. But it reminds me of my stepdaughter Nicole, who had the biggest eyes and curliest hair ever. Soon she will be bringing us another curly-headed, big-eyed baby girl. Can't wait!
And a close-up, just because I had so much fun with it.
I apologize for the bad photo. The canvas is only tacked lightly on the stretchers, and is catching glare no matter how I try. Plus, we haven't had any sun in at least two years (ok, slight exaggeration there), so outside lighting hasn't been cooperative.
I haven't been painting much that is blog-worthy lately, as life has been a bit on the busy side. However, I still draw when I can. Here are two recent charcoal sketches on Strathmore's new toned paper. Love the paper colors but don't know if I like the surface for charcoal.
We start examining faces from the time we open our eyes as babies. By the time you reach middle age, you would expect we would know everything there is to know about faces. But it's not true. There is still more to learn. I think that's why I'm still having so much fun painting them. I don't think I'll be tired anytime soon.
Have you ever done an image search using the words "Florida" and "mugshot"? Next time you need a laugh, try it. This is one of the mugshots I found. Will work on getting a better photo next time I am home when the sun is up.
This is the guy who has been stalking me. Really. He has. A few weeks ago, I did a Google search on "mugshots", and ever since, this guy has popped up everywhere, advertising arrest record search services. I go to Amazon, he's there. I go to Yahoo, he's there. GoComics, he's there. I am losing patience with targeted advertising! I hoped that by painting him, I could make him go away. I'll let you know how that works out. Meanwhile, it gave me some practice in painting chubby faces with unique facial hair.
Still playing with faces. I am taking a cue from the uber-talented Karen Jurick and painting mugshots. Real ones. Check out her Bust-ed blog here. She teaches this in her classes too, so you'll see painters all over the internet painting mugshots of the arrested and not-so-arrested in mugshot poses.
Why mugshots? Well, for me, it's hard to find models to sit when I have a few spare moments. Of course, the web is full of people photos, but 98% of them are smiling, so they aren't good subjects for formal portrait painting practice. People do tend to be serious during the arrest process. And face it -- mugshots are a resource we won't run out of anytime soon. Some of them have hilarious expressions. Some mugshot photographers have a very artistic sense of lighting. Overall, mugshots are great for practicing painting the human face. So, a new semi-regular series is born -- Mugshot Mondays.