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])

The Paradela Family of Quipayo, Calabanga, Philippines - Drawn by Travel Man way back 2003 (Photo by Travel Man)
The Paradela Family of Quipayo, Calabanga, Philippines - Drawn by Travel Man way back 2003 (Photo by Travel Man)

Family portrait in details

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tata Pong (All photos by Travel Man)Nana FeTravel Man's signatureKuya RonelAte HelenKuya BongMonieImbayNinaEbingJosieJeznelKhelaJezza
Tata Pong (All photos by Travel Man)
Tata Pong (All photos by Travel Man)
Nana Fe
Nana Fe
Travel Man's signature
Travel Man's signature
Kuya Ronel
Kuya Ronel
Ate Helen
Ate Helen
Kuya Bong
Kuya Bong
Monie
Monie
Imbay
Imbay
Nina
Nina
Ebing
Ebing
Josie
Josie
Jeznel
Jeznel
Khela
Khela
Jezza
Jezza

Portrait booths

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:

  1. Materials to be used - like pencils (from hard -H-, medium -M-a & soft -B-), set of portrait brushes and illustration board, etc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

A very interesting hub and I enjoyed your drawings. That's one thing I was never any good at! but I enjoy looking at the work produced by other people.

Great hub + voted up!


Hubert Williams 4 years ago

Ireno That was a great hub. Aour are a very good artist. I enjoyed the article and pictures very much. Thanks.


Tee GadZ 4 years ago

I loved the description of how to create the drawings. I envisioned it when I closed my eyes.thank u


the girls profile image

the girls 4 years ago from Los Angeles, California

talented guy. Are you related to Larry Alcala? (I think that's the famous first name who was with Daily Bulletin)


bingskee profile image

bingskee 4 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

i should have read this the time when we were required in college to make a self portrait in charcoal! :D one of the classmates didnt know how to draw and so she asked me to draw her face. after receiving the finished piece, she exclaimed why i didn't make her nose smaller ha ha


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Seeker7: Thanks, it's been a pleasure having your comment here. It's one of my skills, but I seldom touch my pencils and drawing paper due to my hectic writing on HubPages.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Hubert Williams: That was my work way back 2003, Sir! I just missed drawing someone, since my hands these days are eager to finish hubs each week of my online life.

I'm glad you dropped by. Thanks, Sir. :D


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Tee GadZ: Thanks for noticing the details of my drawing procedure.

Can't help it to spill some of the beans for other to appreciate how portrait artists do their work.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@the girls: Yes, I am. My grandfather and Larry Alcala were cousins (they're already RIP).

I used to imitate his works (cartoons) when I was in elementary grades.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@bingskee: Truly, your own work will truly be appreciated than the work of someone.

Anyhow, I hope your friend did learn how to draw her self-portrait (with a twist, LOL!).


the girls profile image

the girls 4 years ago from Los Angeles, California

I was a fan of your grandpa's cousin. I clearly remember figuring out where he was in the middle of a hundred faces :-)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@the girls: I'm a fan, too. I was looking forward to meet him when I was in college, but I was shy to do it. I was thinking, some relatives will quip that I was just riding on his popularity.


graceinfoau profile image

graceinfoau 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Amazing Drawing by you dear... can u draw my pic for me plz


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@graceinfoau: Sure, my dear, if time permits. I'm still preparing my materials, if you'll allow me to publish it here on HubPages.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

You´re very talented travel _ man! I know it by just looking at your drawings. I´m married to an artist and it always fascinates me looking at drawings or paintings in different museums here in Europe. Thanks for sharing.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Thelma Alberts: Thanks for appreciating, ma'am. I just want to celebrate life by drawing other people's faces. But due to my busy life and with other interests to fulfill, I set aside art for quite a long time.

I cannot even finish sketching one subject nowadays, because the big part of my time is occupied by writing online, including HubPages.

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