Meet Gerard Bryceland and some of his painting ideas? Drawing with graphite is a less messy material, which is an advantage if you don’t feel like finishing a drawing, then having to spend a fair amount of time scrubbing your hands, arms, and cleaning up your work area. There are different levels of hardness available with graphite pencils, which gives you the ability to make light marks, as well as deep shadows. If you need to lay down a lot of graphite to establish shadows, or for your background, you could use powdered graphite. There is also water-soluble graphite available that you can use to create beautiful washes that can add a unique element to your self-portrait. The one main drawback of using graphite is the reflective sheen it produces in the light.
Before starting, here’s a personal tip: Place a mirror in front of you and look closely at your own facial features as you draw your portrait. Why, you ask? Your face is the most familiar face you know, you see it every day of your life and have unknowingly practically memorized all the vital details, so much so that you more or less know if you’re getting the proportions right or not. Now, you’re ready to start! The important thing to keep in mind in this first step is to have a good sense of the space on your paper where you plan on drawing your face, so that you can plot out the optimum placement of your subject that will make for a good composition. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending so much time perfecting your drawing, and then belatedly realizing that you ran out of space.
Gerard Bryceland‘s tricks about portret painting: The overall balance between the eyes is a key element in achieving any likeness. You should build up the painting of both eyes at the same time in order to capture the balance between them. This essential relationship is far more difficult to achieve if you bring one eye to a state of completion and then start on the other. A variety of small brushstrokes using stippling (paint applied in dots) and smudging techniques is used throughout the painting of the skin. Stippling gives you the greatest control over the distribution of color when applying paint over larger areas such as the cheeks.
Use the grid method. The grid method is a technique that has been used by artists for generations. It’s simple, effective, and can allow you to get a likeness of your subject very quickly. How does it work? For this approach, you’ll need a photo. Take your photo and use a ruler to draw a grid with evenly spaced lines. Then copy that same grid to your drawing paper, adjusting it for size when needed, but always keeping the number of grid squares the same, and keeping the proportions of each grid square the same. Then you simply copy what you see in each grid of your photo to the corresponding square on your drawing. Use a projector or a lightbox. Is this method a bit of a cheat? That depends on who you ask. Artists have been using various techniques to trace their subject for centuries. One way to look at this approach is that using a projector or a lightbox is simply another tool. If you use this approach, you should focus on only sketching out a light outline on your paper, then render out the forms, highlights, and shadows.
About Gerry Bryceland: I’m Gerard Bryceland an artist based in Maidstone Kent and regularly get commissioned to do work doing paintings and portraits of people and their families. I’ve always been an artist from my childhood, I loved drawing my friends and family initially just to mess around with my friends and had a lot of fun drawing them. But as i got older it really just became a business as my friends and their families would want me to do family portraits and that type of thing. With word of mouth word gets out and before you know it you know it I’m 35 and still doing the same thing.