Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Portrait of A. – gridding up.

Pencil sketch on canvas, in gridded squaresI finished the tonal study of A. and went straight on to squaring up, transfering a composite of images onto the canvas as one. The jacket and pose from one photo along with the face from another will give me the best combination. I transferred them without putting them together on the computer, with a bit of lip movement as I counted out position on the grid.

Each of the squares is an inch wide, and the canvas is 18″ by 14″, which will make the small details annoyingly difficult, and the big areas annoyingly large. It’ll be a little smaller than life sized.

Now, I get to be accurate. The tonal portrait did let me look at what problems there would be, so I knew for example that I had the angle of the lips wrong, and that the forehead was too high and straight. However, transferring it all by hand meant I learned the shape far better. I know a lot more about why the face fits together and how. At this stage of squaring up, I still don’t have everything down fully, but I am starting to block in colour areas. The lip shape, for example, is the pale line around the lips, where the facial skin starts. This is much closer to being an accurate portrait, but at the same time it’s also a guide to painting a portrait instead of drawing one. I’ve put in colour turning points rather than edges, where I have to.

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