I did a series of what I call quick “character sketches”. Here are some examples. The idea is to capture the sitter with quick fluid strokes in a short period of time. They are done in oils on canvas panels.
As long as I can remember, I have been a fan of the human face and figure. I have always been fascinated by people. I observe them deeply and intensely. I look at the folds and rise of skin, the curve of cartilage, the indentations and shadow of muscle on their bone structure. I look at the color of their skin and hair. I see the look of the eyes reflecting what is inside.
To me the hands and feet are a key to the rest of the body, the person. They reflect what they carry and what they hold.
These sketches only present the face of the sitters and the goal was to capture the likeness of the individual as much as possible.
In closing, I present a work in progress at the bottom. This photo of “Red Scarf” is from the first sitting with a new model.
I struggled with the nose, mouth and chin until I realized the model tended to raise her chin. This slight movement was not very noticeable but it changed the length of the nose, the distance to the mouth and the length of the chin from where I stood.
The clue that helped me figure out what was happening was the shadow, or the lack of shadow, on the neck from the jawbone. She began in a lower position casting a shadow on the neck and slowly raised her chin until the shadow disappeared. This raising of the chin is typical, especially with non-professional models. What made it difficult to notice was that it happened very slowly throughout the sitting.
I modified the nose multiple times. In the end, I wiped off the nose and mouth. I’ll redo them at the next session with the understanding of what is happening. This will make it easier to correct the model.