Tuesday 6/26: Where are these shadows coming from?

Today the last day of class, and it was a very right-brained, visual, non-verbal day for me. As such, I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking.

The more I work on my self-portrait, the more I realize that the shadows just seem to happen by themselves when i let my right brain take over and just slowly, continuously erase. Frankly, I have no idea how to draw my lips as a whole, but I’ve been trying to just sneak up on them. If I can get the context of my lips right, then I can just continue onto the lips and make it all nicely continuous.

I did take a break from my easel to do some blind contour drawing of my lips. I was having trouble understanding the shape, and I needed to stop and see in a way that wasn’t really happening while I was erasing.

I immediately started making notes on my blind contour (which looks like a sort of delightful lobster claw to me, but definitely reminds me of my lips). The left peak of my lips is higher and pointier than the right one, but I’d drawn them the opposite way. I also needed to make the top edge more defined and the bottom edge lighter.

As I compared notes between my blind contour and my drawing, I had a flash of insight that helped me create the bottom edge. I never consciously worked on the shadow below my lip, but you can see that it’s appearing.

I spent two 1.5 hour sessions on drawing before class, and 20 minutes afterward, so about 5.5 hours total, but it really did not feel like that much. I’m amazed at how much progress I made when I let my right brain take over and let the variations in value happen naturally.

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One response »

  1. Nice strategy for letting the left brain have its way while the right brain does the seeing. Your strategic left brain says “sneak up on them”, and then you give your right brain permission to move away from the label of “lips” without forcing anyone to do anything. This seems like a very respectful approach to respecting the agency of your whole head.

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