Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekend Chat Line...Open for Critique

"Mr. Lincoln"
carbon and graphite pencil...11x23
Commissioned Portrait
WIP #2

Lincoln is ready for 'his' first critique. This has been a challenging portrait for me, for several reasons. First, just try to find a good reference photo. I took this one at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Ill. (I knew I had this commission and couldn't find the reference I wanted to use...almost got thrown out taking the reference photo I'm using!)

I wanted to depict him as he looked at the age he was when he was a lawyer in Illinois...prior to his beard...a younger Lincoln than we are accustomed to seeing.

Drawing someone so familiar to the world has proven to be quite a challenge. That and just the size of this portrait. I'm used to working much smaller and have had to adjust some of my techniques. Everything except the darkest areas were applied with blenders and brushes.

There is still a considerable amount of 'fine' work to be done on his face, (I need to add more lines to his forehead and 'ruddy' it up a bit), but so many of you have ask to see the progress of this piece...thought I would post this photo before I head to the drawing table today. The hard part is done.

You can see the reference photo here...and my previous WIP post here. I still have the torso (shirt and jacket) to complete...hope to make some serious headway on that today. I've worked on Lincoln's face long enough, need to step back for a bit and focus on something else...don't want to over do it. I'm at a place where (when working with carbon) any marks or shadows are permanent...don't need mistakes here.

So I ask: I know the photograph doesn't pick up some of the finer detail...but have I captured the 'presence' of this great man? Do you see the worry and determination Lincoln's face as he considered the future of this great nation? Do you feel the intensity of his gaze?
The "Chat Line" is open...I look forward to your comments and please feel free to comment on what others have to say. Remember...when you share, others are blessed.

Well people, Lincoln is all yours. I'm very serious about my questions. I don't want this to be considered just another portrait of many have been done. I want the viewer to see the 'person' not the drawing.

It's time for some lunch and then back to the drawing board.



Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques

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


hbedrosian said...

Marsha, this is unbelievable! Very well done! If you are looking for critique, the only comment I would have is that perhaps the eyelids could be a tiny bit more hooded. I do love this portrait - yes, I believe you have done a wonderful job capturing Lincoln's presence!

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Marsha, great work! For my thoughts with regards to a critique: I felt that something wasn't quite on with his eyes. I went back and forth from the reference photo to your image and here is something you might want to check: it seems to me that in the photo reference there is more room between his eyebrow and the upper eyelid, especially on the left eye (as we view it)than you have on yours. It is hard to tell when viewing on a computer screen but it might be worth looking at. Such an ambitious project, you should be very proud of yourself! I look forward to the finished image.

Marsha Robinett said...

Thanks for your encouragement. Actually in the drawing the eyes are a little more hooded than they show here, but I plan to deepen the shadow area above the brow more you mentioned. The left side of the face is not as complete as the right. There are creases in the forehead (left) to come yet also. I just had to quit for a bit, step back and breath.

I so appreciate your's verification of what I 'think' I see. After awhile one begins to question what you're looking at.

You're right on about the left eye. I've been struggling with this and couldn't decide what was off until I viewed the photo on the computer screen.

I'm going to try to 'lift' some color from above the left eyelid, to give the illusion of more lid showing. I'm at the stage where because there is so much just may not lift. (Carbon pencil is stubborn this way.) Once down, it's pretty much there to stay.

Yes, this has been an ambitious project. At times I've thought a little too ambitious. Definitely out of my comfort zone.

Thanks so much for your input.

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