I came into the studio at around 8:45 this morning and worked until 2:25 with only two 5-10 minute breaks. I’m somewhat disappointed that I didn’t manage to finish the portrait, but it’s interesting to me to see how much my mind tries to fill in the remaining details. Human beings like to see faces because we gather so much information from others’ facial expressions, and that makes it so that the mind fills in the blanks at the mere suggestion of a facial feature. Given that people see faces in grilled cheese sandwiches and rock formations, there’s not much danger of my drawing failing to look like a face, even with some gaps. Honestly, even if I hadn’t tried to finish it today, there’s still enough suggested by the portrait that it’s a reasonable likeness of me.
I struggled with the eyes today. I drew several versions of my left eye, but I never did finish my right eye. The scale of my drawing requires that my eyes go off the page, and it’s hard to understand what I’m drawing when I’m only drawing half (or 3/4?) of it. I eventually ripped a page from my sketchbook, taped it to the side of my easel, marked off the width and height of my eye, and tried to extrapolate from what I’d already drawn to see what the eye as a whole would look like. I also made the tortoiseshell markings on my glasses to help guide my understanding of my eyelid’s shadows and folds. It helped, but I never did get the left eye quite right, and I only got in the neighborhood of starting my right eye.
I think part of the issue is that I didn’t get the thick black line created by my eyelashes. The individual eyelashes aren’t visible at this level of detail, but there is a line there. I may continue to work on it this weekend. To my surprise, I seem to have drawn a fair representation of my sister’s eye, or possibly my dad’s, but with my thick eyelids. Genetically, that’s about 50% right, so that’s not too bad.