Tuesday, August 17

I Should Learn to Draw or Paint People (Fearlessly)

Are you a people painter? I’m not. I suppose I'm just not sure enough of my ability. Darn you, self-confidence.

I would like to be able to paint people—not portraits, necessarily, but I would like to feel confident enough to at least add a human or two to some of my paintings.

I think painting people is more difficult than other subjects. That may not be true, but, perception is reality. When a human is not painted well, it looks goofy unless we're talking abstraction, which I'm not.

I think mis-painting a person will stand out more, way more, than mis-painting a tree or a building. Like the proverbial sore thumb that sticks out, it will be so obvious that you cannot paint the human figure.

The fear is that it may/will mark me as an incompetent artist. Irrational maybe, but again perception is reality. I’m really scared of faces, you know, full-on or quarter views of just a person’s face. Maybe I’m a competent enough artist but an incompetent people painter. I’m not sure when I let this fear creep in.

Today’s images are a couple of of faces I drew with graphite pencil a while back from photos. I guess they're not so bad, but the experience was nerve-racking, so I haven’t tried it since.

Just so you know, I recently received a very nice book, Anatomy for the Artist, and I must say I’m intrigued. It looks like a medical book to me, like I really know what’s in a medical book. It has pages on bones and muscles and what they’re all called. There are pages about noses and ears and feet and parts in the nether regions as well.

What! You have to learn anatomy to be an artist? I don’t think so.

I do feel confident enough as an artist to be able to look at something and actually see it clearly enough so that I can draw or paint it correctly. The book will be a big help to me in learning to see the different parts of the body even if I don’t know what their scientific names all are.

Okay, now I’m feeling a little better about the whole thing. I’ll let you know when and if I put a person in one of my paintings.

Until next blog…

1 comment:

  1. Keep practicing! There are many areas of art, and a single artist may be quite accomplished in one area, but have to start from square one in another area. I recently took up oil paints, and I feel as though I am a kid again, and not in a good way, I might as well be finger painting, the process seems so different than acrylics. But each painting gets progressively better than the last one and I will have the hang of it in no time.