Graphite on Paper | 4” x 6”
Say hello to Wolfgang (Wolfy), who was willing to take a short break from his squirrel hunting to pose for this quick portrait. This is a smaller piece that isn’t quite as refined and complete as the previous Happy Lab portrait from last month, but the intent was to practice a couple of smaller drawings before taking on a more comprehensive composition.
This is actually the second effort at this portrait, the first having gotten off track just enough to warrant starting over. Despite carefully checking and verifying the dimensions and proportions along the way, somewhere along the process I inadvertently extended his snout, which threw everything off. It took me a little while to figure out what was going on, as the error was ultimately very small, but that seems to be the challenge with portraits – the slightest proportional error is magnified, but it sneaks up on you in a very insidious way.
I also wasn’t very happy with the focal point of his left eye in the original effort, which I had redrawn at least twice prior to discovering the proportional issue with his snout, so I decided to restart the entire composition. Rather than flipping to another page in my drawing book, I used the opposite page so I could contrast and compare along the way. The immediacy of the failed effort staring me in the face proved very helpful as a reminder of where the key problem areas were initially.
In the end Wolfy’s draft portrait came to life pretty nicely – see progression gallery below. It’s very hard for me to incorporate the variations of his brown, gold, and black coat, but focusing on the key patterns instead of every detail captured the essence of his inquisitive look and cute face.