Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wetcanvas Portrait Challenge

Sorry, I haven’t posted in a long time.  I don’t know whether it is the summer, my belief a week-long vacation was enough time off, or possibly just laziness.  The summer is normally a little slower for me, filled with distractions but I need to get out of this rut and get back to business.

I don’t remember the last time I tried a master copy, but Wetcanvas June portrait challenge was a perfect opportunity to get back on track while taking on a fairly difficult task.  John Singer Sargent’s work is amazing although I’m not too familiar with a lot of his work.  The quality and emotion in his drawings and paintings are amazing. 

Emily Sargent is John Singer Sargent daughter and such a beautiful lady which led to an amazing painting.  I know there was no way I could do any justice trying to paint this in watercolor or oil so colored pencil and graphite was the best approach for me, using a simple two color interpretation.  I forgot how hard it was to copy a master until I started.  Outside of the painting looking amazing from so many levels, I am happy with the results as a sketch.  I know it would take me well over 100 hours to do any justice to this masterpiece. 

Emily Sargent

Crescenzo Fusciardi drawing was very tricky and complex.  The lines and transparent quality of charcoal was what drew me in.  For a line drawing there is so much subtle information.   At the very end of the sketch I was happy until I looked at my drawing beside the original.  There was no comparison to the original by a long shot.  I believe the collar bone and shoulder are fairly close to the original and that is itJ


Head of a Capri girl was the most frustrating drawing out of the three.  I like a good challenge but this was rather tedious because there are so many subtle changes.  I quickly took the drawing for granted and assumed I was going in the right direction and before I knew it was time to yell, scream and start over. 
Whenever I have a very difficult time with proportions I have a tendency to sketch muscular features, tones and contours that are easily visible to work through.  I like the line drawing the most but lost so much when I started adding tone and value.  I am very happy I took the time to sketch these master drawings and learned so much.  The most valuable lesson learned was being humbled and having a greater appreciation of the Masters of the past.


  1. Well Corey! Just when I gave up on you, here you are.! And back better than ever..These are excellent and they must have taken some time to do. Don't stop now.
    Hope you're having a good summer.. I've continued to paint but slow for me too. There are some events coming up through my Art Guild so that will motivate me too.

    1. Barbra thanks for not giving up on me. The sketches took me about 3-5 hours each but I could have spent double or triple the amount of time just to get the lines correct.

      My summer has been a rollercoaster from work, life and trying to stay focused and motivated to draw. I’m glad your painting is coming along and good luck with your upcoming events.

      I am going to trying to plein air this Friday (Shoaff’s mill in Little Buffalo State Park :) and hopefully post by Sunday. I have a few posts to catch up on but I’m out of my rut.


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