Monday, October 27, 2008

Mr. Lincoln...up for second critique

"Mr. Lincoln"
carbon and graphite pencil...11x23
Commissioned Portrait
WIP #3

I know the last time I posted this WIP of Lincoln I said I was going to walk away from working on the face and move to his torso. As you can see, that didn't happen. I did lay it aside for a couple of days...but when I came back it was like an addiction...I had to work on the face and get it more complete before I could move on. he is.

I narrowed his face on the right somewhat and was able to lift some color out of the left eye lid. I've added more wrinkles on his forehead and increased the shading on the left side of his face (even though the photo shows it washed out)...I felt the added shadows would help to 'narrow' his face...and should have been there if not for the use of harsh lighting.

I've also worked on that odd shaped mouth that is 'Lincoln'...still not quite sure here. I have really struggled here. Lincoln's mouth is such a 'signature' in all his photos...the lower lip is fuller on one side than the other...urrrgh!!

NOTE: The photo is a little on the dark side, not a lot but some. I see several things that could be improved upon. I'm anxious to here what you have to say...extra eyes are always good.

I'm looking forward to your critique again . This is the last WIP post I made and the reference photo I first posting is here.

This has been a big project. I so appreciate your comments and personal emails...both the critique and the encouragement. Next time there should be some shirt and jacket to least I hope.


A Quick Update: Heard from the person who commissioned this portrait and he has a newly published article from the Smithsonian Magazine that has a better more detailed photo showing the shirt and jacket. (I'm really winging it in this area.) I'm to receive the reference tomorrow, so going to lay this aside until I get it...darn, this was my last day at the drawing board this week.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
The Extraordinary Pencil...blogspot
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

PS...make a "Point"...leave a comment


hbedrosian said...

Marsha, I think it looks fantastic! I like the changes you incorporated into his face - it looks even more like the Lincoln that I remember from textbooks. I can't wait to see the finished product!

Jeanette said...

I think you've done a wonderful job on a complex drawing Marsha.

The subtle shading on the face works very well. You know I hadn't seen a photo of him pre-beard so this is interesting.

Mouths can be challenging but I know you'll get it just as you want it to be.

This will be a very striking portrait when its complete.

Marsha Robinett said...

Holly and Janette,
Thanks for your input and encouragement. This looks consderably darker here...or perhaps just fewer highlights. I see by looking at the screen that I need to add a few more squiggly hairs to the upper part of the left eyebrow.

I don't know, I may be done with the mouth...don't want to mess it up.

Holly, I know what you mean about the 'beardless' photo reference. I chose it for two's not the image one is accustomed to seeing of Lincoln and because this is the way he looked when he was a lawyer in Illinois, just prior to running for president.

Karen Hargett said...

Marsha I like that you have narrowed his face somewhat. The eyes are great and and I think you have his lips. If I were to be very picky there is something about his jawline/cheek area - in my opinion he looks more robust (healthier) looking than in the reference picture where I think he looks rather gaunt. Should it be more concave looking giving his face a longer look?? Probably just a bit of blue-tac in that area would work - I don't think it is anything major but that's my 2cents for whatever it is worth. Even if you make no changes I think it is a terrific drawing.

Padgett said...

Very intense! - you have captured the essence of his character.
Looking at your drawing I can feel his energy and I am just waiting for the moment that he turns slightly and focuses his gaze upon me. Whew....
In regards to his lower lip, I didn't notice it until you mentioned your struggle with it. As I focus on it, it does seem to be a just a wee TAD more full than maybe it should be?

Teresa Mallen said...

Marsha, he looks fantastic! Great job on the changes. I think you are doing a great job on the lips, especially given the reference you have to work with. I find it hard to see a lot of detail on the right side of his mouth in the reference photo. Maybe this is just due to the fact that I am seeing it via a computer, but if not, whew...
I agree that you have definitely captured his essence, his 'presence'. Congratulations!
I look forward to seeing him dressed! :-)

Marsha Robinett said...

Thanks for your critique...I'm getting used to his mouth. I worked on it so much I just lost my perspective and wasn't sure about anything any longer. As Padgett mentioned, I think it may be a little on the puffy side.

I'm going to leave his face alone until I at least get the shirt color done and some of the upper part of the jacket...see if the added depth changes the look. I will definitely keep in mind what you said about his jaw line.

Thanks so much for your comments. I love what you said about feeling his energy...just what I wanted to hear! It's always rewarding when the viewer 'feels' what you work so hard to convey.

I appreciate your comments and yes, I think the changes really made a difference...just adding the rest of the shadows on the face helped to sculpt and shape it. You are absolutely right...the reference is lacking much of the fine detail that as a pencil artist I depend on. I've had to do a lot of 'what I know should be there'.

I look forward to 'seeing him dressed also'...because, when he's dressed I will be done.

Thanks again to all, your input has been truly a great help.

Karen Hargett said...

Good decision. I'm anxious to see it finished.

annie said...

I like the mouth. Our work can be about feelings as well as technical
accuracy--yes? And The fullness speaks to me about his compassion and his vulnerability.

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