This little project of mine is starting to become facial studies, in a sense where I have completely stopped painting “random” subjects and gravitating strongly towards portraiture. I’m not going to say that I don’t know where this is coming from, I do. I just did not expect myself to jump into portraiture so soon, especially in alla prima style which I have just started learning two weeks ago.
For more than a decade, I’ve been drawing and painting portraits. What I have done was I taught myself how to see and copy when I was still in schooling years rather than diving deep into learning how to draw the anatomy of the head, features and its nuances that comes with it (plus, I did not have that kind of privilege to get access to these books, even if I did, it would never occur to me that it existed). Not to say I have zero knowledge of that, I do (just late), and not as much as I should have if I had not skipped these important chapters, OR maybe if I had picked up fine arts during my college years rather than Graphics and Multimedia Design.
It was my choice to skip it. I kept thinking to myself I could get by without knowing these boring stuff, because to be honest, I can still draw and paint a beautiful stunning portrait. BUT the downside for not knowing or learning these boring stuff, I would not be able to portray and produce a painterly portrait ever. I would not be able to work with a lower quality image reference (because important details are gone) and certainly, I would not know where I can break “rules”. I want to know what is going on inside, not just the surface. I don’t want to know the medical names of every bones and muscles, but at least to know generally and where they are supposed to be – that is more than helpful and beneficial.
The way I think when I draw or paint a portrait now is completely different before I started doing this in-depth fundamental studies. Now all I think about is the bone structure, facial muscles and planes and making sure that they are where it is supposed to be in the “rule book”. Each portrait is like a revision for myself and maintaining the habit to constantly recall what I have studied. It’s definitely a lot to juggle whilst I am still developing and learning this painting style of alla prima. I’ve got to think about value, hue, chroma, brush work and pray that it will come out okay at the end of the session.
Maybe it is a bit more than I can chew sometimes, but it is manageable so far. The internet platform for self teaching and learning online is at its highest peak. And I am very grateful to be able to learn at my own pace, at the comfort of my home. I am reaping these benefits that the internet is offering us today when it comes to education like free money.
You know what else I’ve learned through via online (Youtube)?
Playing the guitar and bake really fancy cakes.
Please stay curious and learn up whatever it is that strikes your interest. It is 100% out there in the internet realm. You just need to want it enough to go for it – without leaving the couch or your bedroom.