Saturday, December 1, 2012

Longatude and latitude

I have wondered really what good is longitude and latitude in the everyday life?  I mean I am not a navigator or a sailor and so proud of the ones that are and understand it all.  I  know it is the vertical and horizontal lines that help with navigation but what would a housewife/artist do with these things?   I know a lot of people any more don't use vertical and horizontal as words any more, it is sideways and longways and heard a new one the other day, " a laying down one".  But to me they are still horizontal and vertical.  So where are you going Annette?   Hang loose I getting there.   Promise.

Now as you noticed I have been doing sketching and someone asked if I would teach, don't laugh  can you imagine me telling something to teach the way I wander on stories?   Well that got me to thinking of vertical and horizontal lines and how I use them.  It was sweet of her to even think I could teach something.   Thanks my friend.   xo

Doing portraits like I am doing requires a lot of measuring and erasing and measuring again.  Sometimes you even rip the piece of paper out of the book and tear it up into a million pieces, that does make one feel good also. I love digital painting but there is something about getting the fingers into the drawing and using a kneaded eraser and paper stump.   Just can't explain it. 

So I am going to put a pic up and then my sketch and tell you how I go about it.  Not to wordy or I will stray to other subjects and my anyway but I will try.   

Now after putting the two on here side by side oh my goodness I can see more work to be done but that is another time.  I did get a likeness and will do better next time.   Right now I am consoling myself, my external hard drive crashed so boo hoo and onward and upward and supposedly it will cost over $500 to retrieve it so I am trying my best to think of what is on it and since I have the new computer I have not backed up in a while.   BUT thank goodness I blog.  That will save some pics for me.   

OK,  I measure first how far the eyes are apart, some have closer eyes that others that is a start.   Usually your head is 5 eyes wide and usually never over or pretty darn close to being a hand long.  Just put your hand over your face and see what I mean.  Pretty close isn't it?  If you get a face over 6 inches long it usually poses different problems.  Everyone and I mean everyone has a big eye and a little eye.  Being a photographer for years, a million, you can know how to tilt the head and camera angles how to make it less noticeable.  It is done.   I draw a line usually with a ruler and if you want with a pencil also like how wide the nose is in comparison to the eyes.  A lot of times the edges of the mouth will  have a line ( invisible) to the center of the eye, just depends on the tilt of the head.  Measure from the base of the nose to the center of the lips and center of the lips to the bottom of the chin.    These are just starting points for you . Then start fine tuning the measurements and keep refining them.

I draw an invisible line like to the bottom of this left eye to see where it lines up to the right eye.  Sometimes you will draw a straight line and it might need to be a bit curved and that changes the looks a LOT.  Are the eyes deep set, you can make that appear with some shading.  Remember we are just  using paper and pencil. 

The face has many under planes on it and those can be shaded to make it have shape.  Like at the bridge of the nose, the under part of the nose, the top lip is an under plane, under the bottom lip is an under plane.   The bottom part of the eye the "bags" we hate but have to have to hold our eyeballs in.  I know they are attached but to me it reminds me that it holds them in. 

Yep looking at this cutie I see lots to be repaired but as DH says I did get a good likeness and that is what I am trying to brush up on.  But if I see her I could give her a Cow Pow and she would be happy as a lark.  Love love her personality.   Now I have to go do another sketch of her. 

 I darkened the side of her face to make it curve back and on the side of the nose so it has some shape.  Some people have very pronounced "balls" on their nose and some do not.  It is the tiny differences that make us   US.   soem have ski jump noses, some have had maybe their nose broken at some time and have a little bump in them.   That is their nose and makes it them. 

Remember the chin is sort of a ball also and the eyes really are.  Some are bigger than others but a good ruler and lots of measuring will help.  
There you go a quick convo about the sketching.   I hope this helped one person.  I can go deeper but thought just a hint or two might help, if you want to go this route.  There are many many ways of doing anything and this is my way.  Right or wrong, it is how I do it.  These sketches take a while, a long while they are not done in like 10 minutes trust me on that.   First I just kind of sketch where their features are and then start refining and remeasuring and erasing .   I do use a mechanical pencil and that helps also.  I have the pencils for sketching the hard and soft ones but a mechanical pencil is great and after 68 years I have finally learned how to reload the things and not go buy new ones everytime they run out of lead.   I kept thinking ok this is a little pencil surely I can reload it.    WHEW !!!!!  Such pressure in life.    
So thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world and thanks Abby for being so sweet on NCIS.


  1. Wowsa!! No wonder I have trouble making mine look like the photo--George always laughs at me, because i say back and forth and up and down for horizontal and vertical and when I was making art quilts, he always had to cut and measure the borders, so they would be straight--I am convinced that the year they covered measuring with a ruler in school was the year that we moved and I missed it!! LOL. However, I am going to copy and paste your directions and at least it will give me a starting point...

  2. Fantastic art and wonderful info.My husband is in love with Abby. I think His tastes in women have changed now that He's in his late 60s-TeHe So strange :) Denise

  3. You really got a good likeness and what a great thing for you to explain your method. You are right, there are many ways to achieve things but the important thing is to find what works for us, and this certainly works :-)) I saw below you are working on something truly beautiful, you are keeping so busy my friend. LOVE the 'laying down' way of measuring :-)))) XOXO

  4. Honest..I learned this technique in 5th grade. I have used it, but never for a portrait. I'd say you have the technique down.

  5. Annette, thank you for sharing your methods!!!!! I really like this actress and I think you did a fabulous job.

  6. Terrific likeness and you obviously have the technique down perfectly. x

  7. Dear Annette your drawing skills are fantastic, it look like the photo so well, hope you are doing well my dear friend, here in Denmark it is cold weather and we have snow.
    Hugs Anni


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