Since you are reading this blog you are certainly involved with art in a way or another. As such, and no matter your skill level, you can’t deny this question has crossed your mind a few times: “How do I know if my art is good?”. Although there is no definitive answer to this, there are definitely some ways to weight and judge your artwork. Stand opposite your latest painting and run through the following list. Process that in your mind and you will realise how close your work is to be called “art”.
Continuing the line of Classical Greek philosophers, this is the bust of Socrates. Socrates is one of the founders of western philosophy and despite not having any surviving writings of his, references by others inform us about his valuable work and thoughts. Socrates was teacher of Plato who in turn was teacher of Aristotle (see BUST – 3); all of them very important philosophers of Ancient Greece.
This bust; as previously; is drawn using charcoal and a kneadable eraser. After tone was applied I just used my finger tips to blend where required. Similar technique and steps were followed as previous pieces of this collection (see BUSTS).
A very rough grid was drawn firstly. To do this I just compared the total length of the bust to its total width (not including the plinth). Doing this helped me define the correct proportions of the main shape of the head. In this case, as the bust is slightly tilted to the left, defining the middle point of the face was not particularly helpful. I trusted my instinct and after measuring the proportion of the forehead compared to the total length of the head I made the first charcoal marks showing Socrates’ eyes and eyebrows. To be as accurate as possible and to take into account the perspective of the “mask” I used a slender needle and plotted on my paper the lines connecting the ends of the two eye brows. In the same step I quickly sketched the outline of the nose too.
Using the same technique (needle to measure proportions of lines and angles caused by perspective) I formed the outline of the head and roughly sketched the hairline. After the basic shape of the philosopher’s face was on my sketch pad, I erased back to the point I was just able to see my previous lines. I then started to define better all lines and make more confident charcoal marks.
…I erased back to the point I was just able to see my previous lines…
When I felt comfortable with the shapes and outlines I had, I moved on to my favourite part…adding tone! First, I added smaller amounts of tone just to define different planes on the man’s face. Forehead, cheeks and chin are probably the ones that will make your drawing stand out immediately. From then on it is a matter of adding detail and showing the shadows and light on the face more accurately.
Final step after I am happy that the amount of detail I wanted to show is there…is to go back and strengthen the tone and highlights where necessary. I quite enjoy this final process as I believe it makes my drawing more vivid and the additional contrasts capture the eye and attention.
Drawing Socrates was very enjoyable and helped me understand better how face lines work in perspective when the head is slightly turned to the one side!
I hope you enjoyed reading this! You can see my previous bust drawings here:
THE ARTIST SAYS…
“Busts is a collection of charcoal drawings which represents my first steps in the world of life drawing and drawing of human figures and faces in general. In these first drawings I am just trying to put in practice the theory that I read in sketching books or the instructions that our tutor gives during our life drawing classes. Hopefully, as I progress and practice more, the quality of my drawings will improve and more confident lines and powerful tone contrasts will appear.”
Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves. Meet the man behind the scenes. Visit THE ARTIST…
“I am a self taught portrait and animal artist based in Manchester, UK. At a young age I began experimenting with art (I come from a very artistic family, so art was always a large part of my life), but quickly found myself overwhelmed with education and jobs. Because of this I went through a 7 year period of not drawing, not painting, not even thinking about art. It was only 2 years ago that I picked up my pencils again and decided to make a career out of my artwork. I now work as a freelance artist and couldn’t ask for a better job. Art, for me, is just like meditation, it relaxes and helps clear my head of any day to day stresses and I honestly couldn’t imagine a world without it. I mainly draw in chalk and charcoal but am starting to experiment with oil paints.”
Loved Krystan’s art? Follow her work on social media:
“My name is Marilyn Boissonneault and my artist name is Pouliche Electrique. I’m from Montreal, Canada, and like so many others I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pen. Doesn’t mean I was good! But I kept practicing, practicing, and practicing even more. I am in love with Acrylic painting at the moment but I’m always thrilled to try new mediums.”
Loved Marilyn’s art? Follow her work on social media:
“I am self taught portrait artist Billy T from Berkshire , U.K . Art is my life , it’s all I know , it runs through my veins. I paint for paintings sake , it draws me in, I can’t live without it. Theres’s something about the painting of people’s portraits that truly intrigues me , to capture their essence , their souls on canvas/paper is the most technically challenging of subjects but also the one of the most rewarding .”
Loved Billy’s art? Follow his work on social media:
“‘Hi there! My name is Emma and I am an artist based in South Wales. I’ve drawn since I was able to hold a pencil. I’ve studied Art and Design. I love to draw wildlife and my preferred medium is chalks and charcoal. However, I am willing give anything a go regarding media and subjects!”.
Loved Emma’s art? Follow her work on social media:
“Angela Hale is an artist based in South Wales. A keen love of nature and animals is the inspiration for her work and she specializes in pet portraits and images of wildlife in a variety of media. Angela will most often be found drawing and painting aboard her narrowboat and can be contacted via her facebook page Studio at Bridge 110”.
Loved Angela’s art? Follow her work Studio at Bridge 110 here:
“These works, done by Sourya, showcase a style which he terms as contemporary line art. He bends flashy line work with oriental imagery to bring about an amalgam of concepts, creatures and themes – all interlinked with exceptional detail and shades. Each aspect of his work tells a different story.”
Loved Sourya’s art? Follow his work Akashic Illustrations here: