Studying Vivienne

I am trying to get better at drawing faces, and although I usually would prefer to draw from life, there’s a limit to the number of people who will sit still while I struggle to make a bad picture of them. The Internet is of course full of wonderful photos, but these have a couple of drawbacks for me. The first is that the photos are often photo-shopped to within an inch of their lives, and the second is that they weren’t taken by me, and I have no ‘connection’ to the subject. My solution to building up a library of real, lived-in faces was to ask for volunteers (victims) at my yoga class, whose young-at-heart members range in age from their 30s to, well, older than their 30s.

I explained what I was hoping to achieve (improvement in drawing and painting) and about half the class kindly stopped behind after the lesson to be photographed – regardless of dishevelled hair and lack of makeup – proving what splendidly kind and generous people they are.


And so we see my first quick effort, lovely Viv. She’s much prettier in real life than in this portrait, as I’ve definitely distorted the length of her face and nose, but I think I can thankfully still see something of her here. The waterbrush full of ink gave me a few issues in trying to get the more subtle shades on the skin, so I had to edit a little with a white gel pen. I may well come back to Viv and try to ‘fail better’ next time. You learn as you go…


20 thoughts on “Studying Vivienne

  1. Love this portrait, full of life and personality, you should give yourself more credit because a lot of people often make very stiff or lifeless drawings when they are learning and I nothing but life and energy in this. What an ingenious way to get some real photos of people without having to go out to a figure drawing group. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So this is a quick effort? Can’t wait till you have more time. This woman looks like she would be smiling all the time, even when trying to give sage advice. What a personality shines through in this quick effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Viv Again | Stuff and Nonsense

  4. Pingback: Try again | Stuff and Nonsense

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