While doing this portrait I used charcoal but used a different technique then I usually do when doing pieces in charcoal. For example, while working on this I used a shammy. I have never used a shammy before except in the drawing exercises in class. So outside of class this was my first time. I decided to use the shammy because it was hard for me to get the skin constant all around without using it. Also the skin needed to be really light, and because I already had charcoal on the paper I couldn’t use an eraser to get it all off. So this is why I used the shammy, because it picks up the charcoal very well and still leaves enough on the paper to work with.
The first thing I did was model and take an image. At first I was going to do the whole image, but that was a lot more work then I had time for so I narrowed the image down, and just focused on the hand, and the shadows on the face created by the hand. This was a lot more helpful, and helped me get a good start on the portrait. At first I was a little baffled on how to do the portrait, because I had never done something like this in charcoal before, but after some thinking I found a way that would help me get this down.
What I really wanted to do in this project was make extreme areas of light and dark, and also have depth. I think I didn’t do so well with the light and dark, everything is just there. It’s not popping out to me. But when I tried to make it lighter the charcoal wouldn’t come off even with the shammy. So the light areas now are as light as I was able to make them unfortunately. However, as far as creating depth I think I did fairy well on it, the right eye makes it pop out more then if that was the same tone as the left eye. The right eye being darker and appearing as if it’s blending into the head definitely helps the image look more realistic to the viewer. I liked doing the eyes, and adding that small little light in the eye made it look much more realistic.
This project definitely helped me grow as an artist. I gained much more experience with charcoal. I used the shammy and got used to it, and I think that next time I do a project with charcoal it will be much better because I will have a better idea of what I’m doing. Also, I had never done a self portrait with as much work put into it as I did this one, so that was a new thing for me. In the future I can use the thing’s I learned on this if I am drawing a person I am modeling on maya on paper, to get a better and more decent idea of what I am doing. This also improved my medium much more, so even while working out of the field and on my own I can make better pieces.