In my fourth and final colored pencil class we worked on portraits from a model. I only did this one other time in 2009 so I was really out of practice (to say the least). There were people in the class who had never drawn a portrait before (so I didn’t feel that self conscious). We had the same pose the whole session so we had time to start over or keep working on the same drawing. I drew standing up at an easel which is such a great way to work.
©2012 Carolyn A Pappas, Portrait Sketch. Colored Pencil in 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook.
Drawing a portrait in colored pencil from scratch was a little unusual for me because I couldn’t erase, but it was also a good thing because I wasn’t able to erase away my whole drawing. Even though my portrait itself was rubbish, it was a good exercise that I don’t get to do often.
My overall impression of this class was that it was more of a drawing class than a colored pencil class. However, It was a still a great experience, even though it was not what I was expecting. I really liked the instructor Tom Grady and would definitely take another class with him, especially a portrait or figure class, or oil or acrylic painting.
I am really glad that I signed up for this class, not only for a chance to get out of the house, but also as an investment in myself.
©2012 Carolyn A Pappas, Cate on her Morning Nap. Graphite in 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook.
Cate is four months old now. The time really is going by quickly and she is already so much different than when she was born. She has been trying to roll over for the past two months and she finally managed to do it last week. I am thankful for her every day!
©2012 Carolyn A Pappas, Sierra. Watercolor, 10 x 8 inches.
Awhile ago (longer than I care to admit), a relative asked me to paint a portrait of her granddaughter in watercolor. At the time, I was hesitant because I had never painted a portrait in watercolor before, but I said yes because I didn’t want to disappoint and I didn’t want to acknowledge that there was something beyond me.
I started making sketches and ran into trouble immediately. Then I shelved the project thinking I needed more practice on various aspects (drawing children, mixing skin tones in watercolor, etc.). But I never ended up feeling confident enough to start.
It became awkward to see this relative at family functions. “How was the portrait coming along?” she would ask. I felt guilty because I knew I hadn’t started on it.
It was only recently that I decided that I needed to do the painting, no matter how bad it came out. I don’t want to be a person that makes empty promises. So I made the painting over the course of a few days, to the best of my ability. I know there are a multitude of issues, but in all honesty, this probably isn’t bad for a first attempt. I would love to repaint this same subject once I take a few watercolor classes and get some expert instruction. But for now, at least I did what I said I would do!
I am vowing never to let this happen again. It’s better to be honest or say no than to put myself in a situation where I feel overwhelmed and less than authentic.
Another item found at Papou’s house: a pencil sketch of Papou drawn by his sister, Mary. I remember him talking about this drawing in amazement at how his sister could capture his likeness so well. He saved it all these years, since 1951.
©2011 Carolyn A Pappas, Lizzie. Graphite on Bristol Board, 8 x 8 inches.
A portrait of my baby niece made as a gift for my sister. She and Cate are already friends even though they are so different in personality. Lizzie has the most dainty whimper of a cry but Cate has a powerful set of lungs and doesn’t hesitate to use them!
I posted work in progress shots of this drawing in my last issue of Delicate Paperwork. If you are interested in seeing more behind the scenes images from me, you should subscribe. I’m sending the February issue out on Wednesday where I’ll be showing you a sneak peak of what I’m working on for the upcoming Twitter Art Exhibit.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Cate (12-27-2011). Graphite in 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook.
My girl is two months old. I’m looking forward to getting to know Cate better over the upcoming year. I hope all my readers also have a year full of blessings.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Baby Cate. Graphite in sketchbook.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Cate Sleeping. Graphite in sketchbook.
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Right Hand. Graphite in sketchbook.
Baby Cate arrived last week and I’m finally getting into the swing of things enough to make some sketches while she naps. I am no expert on baby portraits, but I will definitely get a lot of practice over the next few months as I’ll want to do plenty of sketches of my precious baby girl. I am so lucky!
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, Katie in Profile. Graphite in 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook.
This drawing is based on a photo where Katie is standing on the bow of the boat looking over the lake. It would make a really nice portrait done in colored pencil if I can convince myself to get started on it!
©2011 Carolyn A. Pappas, At Ease. Graphite on Bristol Board, 8 x 10 inches.
I started this portrait back in September, but I put it on the shelf and didn’t work on it for months. Finally, I decided to finish it off so I could move onto other things with a clear conscience. I did remember to scan it at different stages of completion (see below). The baseball cap was my favorite thing to draw as I loved the strong contrast. My intention was for this to have a more sketchy look, but I ended up adding more detail than I had originally intended. Even so, I am happy with it, and it bears an excellent resemblance.
©2010 Carolyn A. Pappas, Brothers (11-23-10 sketchbook page). Graphite in 9 x 12 inch sketchbook.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll most likely be offline until Friday as I’ll be busy with Thanksgiving prep, although I’ll still be making drawings to show you when I get back. This year, I am most thankful for my family, and that I won’t have to go anywhere near a TSA agent to be able to see them.