Peter Lobel’s Guided Portrait Tips

Our 2nd Culture Days event was Peter Lobel’s Guided Portrait session on Thursday, October 8th. It was well attended and over 30 folks registered from many areas outside Victoria, Canada, and even one from Finland!

This was the second-time we ran an online Zoom session with an instructor. We used 3 cameras to capture the view of Peter drawing so we could all see his boar, a view of the model, and a view facing Peter for when he was speaking. It was an interesting challenge and we learned a lot from Peter. Next time we will know more about how to use Facebook live recording so we can post it up here as well.

We were also pleased to welcome participants at this session to the online drop-in Portrait Drawing on Saturday.

Here are Peter’s key tips from the session:

  • Don’t skip on the warmup: I prefer 5×1 and 5×2 minute quick sketches
  • Think about creating an interesting pose: I often add hands for variety
  • Think about lighting the model like a photographer: For example create a light / shadow balance to aid in the definition of the head with a side spot light and mix it with ambient light
  • Think about the composition on the paper before you start. Have an idea of how much of the model you want to show
  • Work from big to small shapes
  • Try not to focus too much on the main features. eyes, nose and mouth,. It’s better to draw around these features and fill them in later.
  • I start with a single gesture line indicating the main angle
  • The height of the eyes is in the vertical middle of the head, assuming a level head
  • Then I draw both eye sockets as one unit
  • From the eyebrows half way down to chin is the bottom of the nose 
  • The mouth is slightly above the lower half
  • Earlobes start their upward swing at the eyelevel
  • The distance between the eyes is extremely important, so make sure it’s correct
  • Squinting helps to simplify shapes and shading!
  • Halfway through the drawing, look at your picture in  a mirror. It provides a fresh look.
  • I create relationships between parts of the face through circular, measured lines

We hope to offer something like this again in the future and are interested in your thoughts and feedback about it. Please leave a reply below or send us an email through the Contact page.

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