Portrait drawing can be really tough. There is so much subtlety and nuance in the human face that it can be difficult to capture that likeness perfectly. At its most basic level, the structure, contours and shapes of the face can be studied to make drawing easier, however that will only get you started. At a higher level, you’ve got to contend with the being able to capture the likeness and character of the person. This can be even more challenging. But it is a challenge that I love. And this drawing of Mya in particular, allowed me to contend with all these challenges and to enjoy that drawing process.
I recently watched an incredible video with Russel Simmons, Waka Flocka and Mya discussing Veganism from different view points. It was so amazing to see three different hip-hop icons talking about Veganism passionately, and bringing their own unique flavor to the subject. Mya said one thing that stood out me about going vegan : “You don’t see the product, you begin to see the process”. I thought this was so poignant, because it highlights one of the biggest changes that veganism brings forth; You begin to see the larger picture!
She also happens to be a stunning musician and dancer. Check out this video to see what I mean. Her tap dancing at 2:45 minutes is crazy good!
I am on a mission right now to draw as many influential vegans as I can. And it only seemed fitting that Mya would be on the list. And without a doubt, I’ll probably being drawing Mya again very soon.
A Different Technique
My usual technique has been failing me recently. It was working nicely in the beginning with some annoying problems, and it was my hope that with enough practice it would improve. However, in all honestly, I can’t say that my usual technique is yielding massive results so I’m playing around with new techniques.
The technique used in the Mya drawing is based on the Russian soft brush technique, where it lets you work with large areas of shapes and value. Thereafter you can incrementally add in detail and move shapes around if needed. In all honestly it worked very well. But when you watch the video, you’ll see that along the way I still need to shift things around a lot until the shapes and values are positioned correctly. This highlights a massive deficiency in my abilities; I still can’t see proportionality well. In the past, lightly drawing locations of various facial landmarks with horizontal and vertical lines worked well. But clearly, I have not mastered this.
The technique I used here works brilliantly on digital, but unfortunately I won’t have the luxury of broadly moving shapes around on the page, when working with actual pencil and paper. This is a problem for me, and more practice is definitely required.
I am very happy with the way this turned out. I’m going to continue using this technique on digital for a while and see how things progress. With any luck my skill will improve.