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September 13, 2010
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I decided to create a journal entry for Random Tips, which will get re-sent as I update this entry in the future.

(9/13/10) TODAY'S TIP:
I try to draw as small as I possibly can. Why? To save time of course, so I can get to the other 50+ I have lined up to draw, ha! The drawing I just started is Reese Witherspoon. I'm drawing it REALLY small, because her EYES are very are large in the reference photo. When I design the SIZE of EACH drawing, I make several determinations about how large to make it. Since I do not frame my work, my object is NOT to make them as large as I can so they look good on my wall. I keep them in display books, which have plastic sleeves to protect them. I am forced to draw some larger than others, and usually larger than I want, because their EYES are too small, so I have to print a larger ref photo. After all, that is where I spend the most time (eyes), because that is where a person looks MOST like that person? Remember this, a drawing that is even 20% larger will take 50% more time to complete! If you have all the time in the world, have at it! If you are like me, and have a short attention span, and you get bored fast, you want to spend the LEAST amount of time possible BUT be able to get the MOST amount of details into your drawing. Each photo I use as a Reference Photo, has to be considered individually, depending on HOW I choose to crop it, or if it's a close-up, which in turn determines the size of the face you can fit into the drawing space on your paper. To do this, I set my printer to Draft Quality, and print 2 or 3 various sizes that are THE SMALLEST possible, but YET allows me to draw the details I like to draw. I then compare the Draft Prints to OLD DRAWINGS in my display books, because  I can remember how long they took to draw, and based on those estimates, I choose a final size. Then I re-set the print settings to a higher quality, and print my reference photo on Presentation Paper, so it is as much like a photo as possible. Of course I print Black and White, so I can more easily "see" the tonal values. (I first convert all of my reference photos to B&W using software). I hope this tip allows you to consider drawing smaller, so you can complete more portraits, or finish in less time? :D:D

TO SEE THE STEP SCANS SO FAR OF REESE, go here:
tinyurl.com/RWsteps

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(8/24/10) TODAY'S TIP:
I always start with an outline! I use different methods for measuring the distance between facial features. I NEVER just guess the distance! It became painfully obvious to me early on in portrait drawing, that there are precise measurements involved? It's a critical part of making a person look like the person that they are! For example, you can guess the distance between the eyes, so can I. But it will save you lots of time, frustration and improve accuracy and proportions if you measure the distance.

You can use rulers, markings on scrap paper, grid paper, etc. There are a TON of methods out there. The outline is not a fast sketch either. If you don't get it right, the whole drawing is off! :D:D
Bruce Willis - scan 1 by Doctor-Pencil   The Outline - A How To by Doctor-Pencil
  • Listening to: Andrew Belle
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:iconzodikllr:
zodikllr Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
Your talent is amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to help.

Where do you find the photos? Do you always use black and white?
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thx a lot!! :D:D Check blog link below. Has ALL my past & future reference photos I got from Google/images. I convert them to B&W :D:D
Reply
:iconheartinart:
heartinart Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The tip guide is extremely helpful! I have never dealt with drawing portraits but maybe it is time I started!
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I stopped DRAWING as a teen. 30 yrs later (4 yrs ago) started portraits and found my passion!! :D:D
Reply
:iconheartinart:
heartinart Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Never too late then, my friend!!
Reply
:iconphantanomaly:
Phantanomaly Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
May I make a request for tips? I'd love to hear what you have to say on varying degrees of shading.
Keep up the magic. =]
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
have u seen my TIP GUIDE? [link]
Reply
:iconphantanomaly:
Phantanomaly Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Well I have now. Thanks very much, I shall read this for a while. Take care. =]
Reply
:iconmadam-lara-croft:
madam-lara-croft Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
a very helpful & "time saving" tip :D
nice!
Reply
:iconppshex:
ppshex Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
wow kool^^thx 4 tip^^o..u measure?thts kool...hav 2 try it some time^^(coz i normally just draw it or uess lol XD )
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:iconnogoodnamesremain:
nogoodnamesremain Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010
Thanks SO much for this tip! :XD: Myself, I tend to draw 8 x 10 (or 9 x 11) drawings and it's boring as ALL crap most of the time! :omg: :faint: Which is one of the 'many' reasons why I don't tend to send many updates on my account: I've 'started' drawing something, but it's just so big and so time-consuming that I get bored or see something 'else' that attracts my attention and so loose interest in drawing the image in my fingertips.

Heh. I think it's a mandatory trait of artists to have a short attention span or something. :P Maybe we're all a 'little' ADD (or ADHD), who knows? :giggle: And again, thank you very much for this tip about drawing small pictures! I honestly thought 'the bigger the better', but seeing your drawings, that's helped to wipe that idea clear from my mind. Now just to finish the drawing I 'still' have to finish and move on to some newer, (hopefully) better, smaller drawings. :aww:
:sprint:



Thanks again! :wave:
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Glad it helped you! Here is a gr8 example of going small in my current WIP of Reese Witherspoon (updated late last night) [link] My hand is bigger than her whole face!
Did u see my tip guide? [link]
I've got other journal entries on this, and other subjects too, if you're interested...and YA, I'm sure I got A.D.D. etc lol
:D:D
Reply
:iconblacknimproud:
blacknimproud Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
My drawings are alot smaller than they used to be but I still take my time with details. These are great tips Rick!
Reply
:iconasheill:
Asheill Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010
Wow. This advice may make me become GREAT. (Or really annoying)

Thanks so much fort this, I had a few misconceptions about measurement but reading this I realize how obvious it is that it should not be taken lightly. (+1000 EXP)
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
sure thing! :D:D
Reply
:iconaniren:
Aniren Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
I always use my own eyes for measuring. Maybe itīs time to test this other method! :D
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks a LOT!! :D:D
Reply
:iconaniren:
Aniren Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
:wave:
Reply
:iconstanbos:
Stanbos Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmmm it's funnier if we don't measure :D
Reply
:iconmadam-lara-croft:
madam-lara-croft Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
nice tip.. rather a definite tip :D
Reply
:icondaviedave66:
daviedave66 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree. Great tip. Thanx :) so will you be posting any tips on how to get a perfect outline. Im thinking about making a large drawing, kinda 20inch orso. I wanna get something to hang in my living room. But like you said, guessing can be a headache, especially when you worked on it for hours, or when you are close to finishing and it turns out that something isnt in the perfect place.
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I sent u a note :D
Reply
:iconblacknimproud:
blacknimproud Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
My method is the paper one :p
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:iconfoxsusenko:
FOXSUSENKO Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
Hmmmmmmm. I guess that result is what meter. So, any tools are allowed? :paranoid:
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Allowed? lol u can do anything you want? No one is judging anyone. Let em try!
Reply
:iconfoxsusenko:
FOXSUSENKO Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
You are right. :#1: Thanks!
Reply
:iconneira7:
Neira7 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's great that you post those "Step by step" scans and tips, so we can see the whole process of creating the drawing.
Glad that you share your magic with us :D ;)
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh there's more trust me ha! thanks
Reply
:iconblessyo4:
blessyo4 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
cool!! everytime i draw i also use grids... but its not awesome as yours... :D
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Grids are tough! I never use them. Too much erasing :D:D
Reply
:iconblessyo4:
blessyo4 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
:D
Reply
:iconcandysamuels:
candysamuels Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks for the help!
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ubetcha!! [link]
Reply
:iconcandysamuels:
candysamuels Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Love the link!
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:iconkatheebah:
katheebah Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010
I'm really good at getting th contour of the face down, but the hardest part for me is most likely the eyes nose and mouth, i can usually get a good contour of the nose but after that the eyes look so unrealistic and the mouth is just sad
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I teach my students to use tracing paper until they train their eyes. It's just an outline a 2 yr old can fk up or an artist can turn into pure magic :D:D
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:iconkatheebah:
katheebah Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010
how long have you been drawing for? or rather, when did you notice u were good and started to take it a little more seriously
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I stopped for 29 years and never drew people. It will be 2 years this October since I started drawing again, and portraits :D:D
Reply
:iconkatheebah:
katheebah Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
29 years is a LOOONG time to be drawing, are you satisfied with your ability, or do you feel there is always room for improvement?
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think you misunderstood me? I STOPPED drawing for 29 years :D:D
Reply
:iconkatheebah:
katheebah Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010
whoa! like total and utter cessation or little doodles while you were bored and nothing else....i can't even begin to imagine what life would be like not drawing for 29 years! O.O
Reply
:iconphilippel:
philippeL Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for sharing!
Reply
:icon1adia:
1adia Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010
thank you for the tip! My proportions are always way off. Perhaps I should use a ruler to measure them.
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
uBET!! :D:D
Reply
:iconpalmer0047:
Palmer0047 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great tips dude keep them coming they are very helpful
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
uBET!! :D:D
Reply
:iconbobbiebizzare:
BobbieBizzare Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010
I know exactly what you mean, I use items like the led of my mechanical pencil, or anything within reach to measure. I'll never start shading without being completely satisfied with the line art either.
I look forward to more of your tips =)
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
dude u just gotta! HA! Me either! aww Mucho Grass-ass!! :D:D PS - read my TIP GUIDE - bottom of profile page. An outline is just the framework or a line drawing...that's it!? A 2 yr old can fk it up, or an artist can work his magic :D:D
Reply
:iconigorxxx70:
Igorxxx70 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010
I use a divider.
Reply
:icondoctor-pencil:
Doctor-Pencil Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
U gotta! LOL
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