Welcome to post #002 of "Rendering Realistic Graphite Portraits"
Be prepared to alter your sense of time for this kind of work. A sketch is a quick outline or shading which takes only minutes or at most a few hours. When you start to add fine detail and layer upon layer as represented in this book, then the time to complete a rendering will be very significant. It can take anywhere from six to five hundred hours to complete a work, depending of course on the size, level of detail, and technique. You will need to prepare your mindset to tackle something of this significance. Here are some thoughts which will help you.
• Most people in western culture spend about 4 hours a day watching TV. That's a total of something like 1,460 hours in a year. In one year, you could produce 36 drawings each taking 40 hours to complete by not watching TV. Or about ten drawings by dedicating one hour a day to your craft. There may be as much as 20 minutes of adverts on TV each hour, so it's possible to progress quite well with a drawing just by working on it while the adverts play.
• If you take the train to work, it is smooth enough to complete some of the less detailed areas. This makes very good use from otherwise dead time.
• Half an hour before starting work in the coffee shop gives you quite time to draw. It also calms the mind and helps you to prepare for the rest of the day.
• Lunchtime might be a sociable activity for you at work, but now and then, if spent drawing, it helps to split the day into two and reduce stress.
• Ask yourself whether you would like to produce 300 sketches or four amazing works of art in one year.
This is the mindset: Once you commit to a work, don't stress about how long it will take. There is no need to rush. Banish impatience. Of course, if you decide to make a living from producing art and selling it, then there are two options. Either you spend a very long time and sell the result for many thousands, or make prints and sell many copies. Or you could produce many cheap uninspiring works and sell them at a reasonable cost so that people in the street can buy an original and feel proud to have an unique work of art on the wall. The techniques in this book are not-for-profit. These techniques take a long time, and unless you get a name for yourself and find it possible to charge many thousands for one work, you will not be able to pay the rent. However, you may well produce a body of work that will, one day hang in a museum. Your work will certainly be passed down to your children and grandchildren. For this reason, portraiture is particularly attractive. A detailed realistic portrait of a relative will hold strong interest to your family forever.
(C) Jeremy Lee 2010, all rights reserved.
Note: I am allowing the blogs in the category 'Book' to be stored for personal use only, but not for distribution or commercial use. Should you wish to reproduce any material, please contact me for negotiations.
spOOk's art is owned by Jeremy. He has practiced drawing and painting for about 40 years, and might get good at it one day. spOOk's art is focused on graphite portraits.