March Check-in

Hi, Blog! No, I haven’t been painting.

Aside from not feeling like there’s time, I haven’t had the urge. I have learned that this is not the death nell of the whole endeavor; the drive always come back.

In the meantime, I have been reassessing my approach. Looking at the two-and-a-half portrait sketches I did earlier in January, I am unsatisfied. I have captured likenesses, but they look too mechanical to me. Boring. No life.

I would like, someday, to do portraits for others. I figured these “others” would only care about likeness, so I have favored techniques that ensure likeness. I am working from photos, because working from life…the ideal…is not…welcomed. People I have asked to sit were not keen on the idea. So, photos it is.

I started my earliest portraits with a grid. Then I graduated to just using a ruler, making measurements, and marking out the location of “tip of nose,” “width of eye line,” “bottom of chin.” From there I am able to come to a likeness.


There is an art concept: Painting is not about copying what you see. It is interpreting what you see. I wasn’t really sure what this meant until I had my own lacking examples and could see I had gone wrong. It will mean, for me, no ruler prompts, no pre-drawing. There may be less likeness, but there should be more life.

It will be hard to allow myself to be inexact, but–Hey! I’m figuring it out!

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