Philippine Scene # 6 - The Portrait of a Filipino Family
I haven't sharpened my charcoal pencils and been commissioned in making family portraits for the past ten years.
Since my high school days at the Trade School in Naga City, Bicol, Philippines, we've been taught the art of making portraits or still-life with the use of charcoal pencils.
I've been draw to it literally, as my teacher in drawing often featured my works on the display board.
Friends of my sisters and some of my cousins will occasionally request for special portraits of their loved ones as their gifts. I finished some of it, but others I had to decline because of my assignments in class.
Commissioned works will come, once in a blue moon, during college; and I had to concentrate on other things.
I switched to oil painting but haven't forgotten sketching figures and scenes on pencil.
I haven't lost interest in making portraits. However, due to some innovations in photography, editing a regular photo can result in a portrait-like display.
Those who want to make their pictures in portrait form will never hire a portrait artist anymore, if they have gadgets to be used, as in a computer and printer.
This hub is just a reminder that this hubber underwent the challenge of copying faces from pictures on the illustration board and made it as portraits.
(Note: Special thanks to Paradela's Family for giving me a chance to draw their faces - courtesy of Ate Helen -- travel_man1971 aka Ireno Alcala [April 14, 2012])
Family portrait in detailsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Where to see portrait booths?
You can always scout for the nearest portrait artists at the mall, whether you're in the province or in the city.
Portrait artists are with organized art group. They still survive because many of us want our faces to be drawn and be displayed in our rooms.
So, start looking now, if you want a personalized portrait of yourself.
How I made this family portrait
It's easier said than done.
A lot of things to be considered in making family portrait, include:
- Materials to be used - like pencils (from hard -H-, medium -M-a & soft -B-), set of portrait brushes and illustration board, etc.
- Sources - pictures, whether colored or in black & white; the latter is more appropriate when reproducing an exact image of the subject in a blown-up proportion.
- Time - is a killer. An artist, like me, is a moody one. I can finish it ahead of the deadline, if no interruptions suddenly arise. Focus should be included on this aspect.
An artist's work will reflect on his interest on the subject. Laziness and boredom will always tempt one to hinder his/her work. Succumbing into it will result into one's failure.
A short lecture is also included here for portrait-making.
- Make sure that you use the hard-type of pencils, when making outlines on faces that you will draw.
- If you don't have a charcoal powder, you can collect it from your pencil's shavings using a sharp knife or cutter.
- Make sure you draw line grids on the original picture and transfer it on the illustration board with the desired ratio/proportion.
- First, draw an egg-shaped circular line (inverted) when you start making a particular face. Then, divide it vertically in equal proportion. Then, divide horizontally, into forehead/eyebrow/eyes parts, nose part then lips. Having the right proportions will lead you to a good, if not perfect result.
If you have the natural flair or talent in copying faces in exact proportion, then, it will be easy for you to do a home-business, such as this.
To further enhance your talent, you can start searching for a local art master and train under his/her tutelage as an apprentice or go with an art group in your community, anytime of the year.
Making portraits is a very good hobby. You can change your medium from charcoal to oil or mixed media.
Suggestions for finding a subject will include:
- drawing your babies;
- drawing grownups;
- drawing elders.
Remember: Drawing portrait will always be about a person, his/her facial expressions depicted on painting, photograph, sculpture or other representations.
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