2hr Portrait - my brother

2hr Portrait - my brother

This past weekend my brother was visiting us from Croatia. I've used the opportunity to make him sit for me. I haven't asked someone to sit for me since 2007, and found it still a daunting task.

My brother showed willingness and enthusiasm, but I wanted to his time pass easily. I've had him sit on a reclining chair and let him watch his favourite program. I've set my easel a bit to his right and above eye level.

My main mistake was setting him up between the two differently facing window in my living room. My thinking was, the West-facing window was closer and therefore the light would be stronger coming from it. However, the North-facing one was giving me the highlights, at least in the first hour. In the second hour of drawing, the light switched to afternoon and now my highlights were coming in from the West. That was it, two hours of drawing, and the rookie mistake already done.

Second thing was, I was so eager to draw with my new pastels, I ignored the fact the 2hr time frame we had would be better spent in simpler tonal choice. however the abundance of color may be the only saving grace of this portrait.

My third mistake was not sketching long enough to notice how I made his characteristically round face a little slimmer in the bottom. I've reached for the colors quite soon, and lost resemblance in the process.

The reason for this also may be that I've put him too close to me. His skull area was closer to me, and my measuring may have been off because of it.

I won't even get into the neck area mistakes and how my cold and warm shadows are incoherent.

All in all, I am happy to have made the time and that the time was made for me. The portrait may not be representative, but my sitter was happy and I've spent quality time both with my family and my art.

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