Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Johanna Learns to Drive . . .

(...on an antique fire truck simulator at the Fire Fighter's Museum in Dallas - July 2002)
by Julia

After working on this off and on for two months, I’m done! Part of the delay was that I just wasn’t satisfied with the facial expression. I still am not satisfied. It’s not "cheesy" enough. I managed to capture the "cheesy" better in a study I did. (See the sketch below. Sorry about the quality - I had to enhance the sketch because it was too lightly drawn.) I got the left eye and mouth right. It actually looks like our dear 4-year-old Johanna.

The finished portrait is a 100% enlargement from a 3x5 photo. (I used the grid-transfer method.) I had originally tried to draw it the same size as the photo. (See sketch at below left.) When it came time to do the face, it looked like a cute little girl, but in no way resembled a particular cute little girl named Johanna Ruth Kautt. No matter how much I sharpened it, the pencil tip was simply too wide – no room for error. Now I understand why some portrait artists prefer a larger format - even life-size - when trying to render a likeness. It’s easier to get the lines in the right place to capture the personality. I’m tempted to do a 400% enlargement of this – at least the face, - so I can get it right. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun, as well! I gave it to Johanna as a late birthday gift. Belated "Happy Birthday!" dear JoRudy.

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