| 29 January, 2016 17:26
This photo is of Lisa Hannigan, a contemporary Irish singer/musician. Remember, you're not copying, but translating it in your own way into the watercolor medium. When you do a value sketch, other patterns of light and dark can be used, but this one works. You may or may not want the shadow to the right. For me I find it distracting. A few observations to note:
- Notice the shadow accross her face on our right. It has wonderful reflected light from her dress, and the darkest area of the shadow is at the edge. It lightens and picks up reflected light as you go back into the shadow. This is a textbook example of form shadows (vs. cast shadows.)
- Her head is tipped forward. How do we know? Eyes are below midpoint, and her ear is above eye level. As a result of the tilting. foreshortening occurs. She needs plenty of forehead, and careful about making her chin, which recedes, too dominant!
- The photo accentuates her profile because of value contrast. As you trace with your eye downward along the edge of the shape, the contrast diminishes as you approach her chin until you reach a "merged edge," another term for lost edge. Then, along the bottom of her chin, the values do a flip-flop. This is desirable in portrait painting for a good composition.
- Avoid the near-universal temptation to "straighten" her face. The tip of her nose almost touches the profile edge, and her lip does. Note how far over to our left the center clef of her lips lie!
- Be sure to draw her ear far enough to the right!
- Pay attention to the placement, size and especially the shape of her eyes. This is another example of where we tend to "correct" what we see to conform to a straight-on sterotypical image.
Have fun! I will try to take some photos of the results to post next week.