Get to know Gerard Bryceland and some of his painting opinions? When you are planning to draw a self-portrait, you must plan out your intentions before you start working. Can art be spontaneous? It can be, and you should embrace this. But when you are trying to create a finished piece of art, you should lay down a framework of what you intend to create, then start working toward that goal. For example, if you are planning to do a simple sketch, then there’s no reason you can’t draw on plain copy paper. But if you are planning on creating a finished self-portrait that you intend to frame, then you need to use a higher quality paper. If you are planning to add watercolor or acrylic or ink to your drawing, you need to use paper that can handle the moisture. If you plan to use oil paint, then you need to draw on paper that has been treated to be used with oil paint. The point here is that planning ahead of time to reach a goal should be your preferred method of working as an artist.
Lightly sketch an egg-shaped circle on your paper, you can use an HB pencil for this if you’re worried about drawing too hard. Then make a straight vertical line at the middle of the face, dividing it in half as symmetrically as you can. Then make a straight horizontal line in the middle of the face measuring from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin, crossing over your vertical line. At the image below the top of the head, the center, and the bottom of the chin are all marked using blue lines. Observe on your model or your reference where the hairline is and mark that on your portrait drawing, in the sketch below it is marked with the topmost red line. Using that hairline marking and the marking at bottom of the chin, divide that section into three equal parts. Below, red lines are used to show these three divisions. These lines will serve as your main guide lines for drawing in each of the facial features.
Gerard Bryceland‘s tricks on portret painting: Facial hair like eyebrows and eye lashes are usually the same color as the hair on the head, but they are painted more delicately with the smallest brushes. The underpainting in these areas is simply a darker shade of skin tone. The soft texture of the hair on the eyebrows and eye lashes is slowly built up with delicate strokes of a thinly mixed ivory black. It is very easy to overdo these features, so you should start by applying a few strokes, then stopping to check the effect. Apply a few more, then stop and check again. Continue this process until you achieve the satisfactory density of hair for the eyebrows and eye lashes. It is often better to omit the lower eye lashes which tend to obscure the the tone and consequently the form of the lower eye lid.
You could try freehand drawing your face. This is the most straightforward approach, but that doesn’t mean it is the easiest. With this approach, you look at yourself in the mirror, or look at a photo, then simply start sketching what you see. Pay attention to the major shapes you see and pay careful attention to how your features relate to one another. You also need to pay attention to the light source, so you can render your face with realistic highlights and shadows. When using this approach, start out your drawing with light, sketchy lines, then slowly darken your drawing as you render it, but only after the initial sketch is in place.
About Gerry Bryceland: I’m Gerard Bryceland an artist based in Maidstone Kent and regularly get commissioned to do work doing paintings and portraits of people and their families. I’ve always been an artist from my childhood, I loved drawing my friends and family initially just to mess around with my friends and had a lot of fun drawing them. But as i got older it really just became a business as my friends and their families would want me to do family portraits and that type of thing. With word of mouth word gets out and before you know it you know it I’m 35 and still doing the same thing.