Exercise 3 Portrait from memory or the imagination

For this exercise I chose to draw from memory my friend’s daughter who I got to see three weeks ago after a very long time. I was actually shocked to see how much she had grown. And here I was expecting to see this three year old toddler…… I think the facial features that stuck with me was the expression of her blue eyes.

I thought I would carry out a few preliminary sketches with charcoal before working on an A2 larger scale. On one of the preliminaries I used charcoal with paint as I was considering using color but in the end I decided to just keep it simple and work just the charcoal. Trying to reconstruct a portrait from memory involves somehow some sort of image derived from the memory bank but from then having some prior knowledge that was acquired and enhanced from the previous exercises helped with trying to capture this memory image of the subject.

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On the larger scale I tried to apply evidence of more knowledge as much as I could. The final outcome was not exactly a spitting image but when looking at all the sketches and the final from each one there was some element that captured the character of her face and personality; a quiet sweet little girl. It definitely helps when you know someone or manage to have a bit of time to observe “that something” about the person. It takes a lot of skill, knowledge, awareness and understanding to succeed in capturing a portrait. Beyond and behind the facial features; the facial mask there is a human with a story to tell, emotions that are hidden, a character that tends to reveal itself or remain concealed. Even though I knew the girl I had not seen her for a very long time so in a way there was a new face to remember. It was definitely not easy. Had I had the time to draw her properly, especially from life drawing class I am sure I would have captured a more likeness of her.

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