Sunday, 14 December 2014

Karl Stefanovic - Mixed Media Portrait in Blue and Orange by Renee Dillon

This is the first of a series of portraits that I've decided to work on (the last few blog posts were kind of practice faces or experiments that lead to the idea). I'm always looking for new faces to draw. One of my favourite places to look for faces is television. You can capture a screenshot at a particular moment and get close up shots of faces of different shapes and sizes, at different angles, showing different emotions. TV and movies can be a much better place to find drawing references than using posed photos as they offer more variety and movement. Also, once you have the basic gist of the face, you can add or remove details, change the hairstyle, create patterns and use colour combinations that didn't appear in the original image.

Over the next year I'd like to create a collection of portraits of famous people and characters, as well as unknown people that I find interesting reference images of. I'd like to get better at creating a likeness between the original image and the artwork, as well as experimenting with colour and texture. I've already been putting together a list of people that might be interesting to draw, as well as keeping an eye out for news stories about celebrities. Celebrity news isn't something I follow personally, but if people are interested in and talking about particular people it might increase the chance of people liking and sharing my art on social media. 

Of course, that means I have to get into the habit of creating art quickly and posting it while the person in question is still in the spotlight. Or alternatively, creating art of celebrities and resharing it when they come into the spotlight again. I'm not sure if this is even a remotely useful way to garner an audience - people who are reading celebrity news might not be all that interested in portraiture - but if I'm going to be drawing anyone it might as well be them. 

Goals for this project:
- Draw more men. Most of my portraits so far have been of women.
- Draw more older people. Draw wrinkles. They're interesting.
- Draw faces I find attractive and faces I don't find attractive.
- Draw the same person multiple times, changing things to make a completely different artwork.
- Pay attention while watching tv shows and movies in case a good opportunity for a screenshot arises.
- Don't be afraid to admit who the person is supposed to look like, even if it isn't a good likeness. 

I chose to draw TV host Karl Stefanovic because he was in the news recently. Apparently, he did an experiment where he wore the same suit every day for a year in order to prove that his fashion choices weren't under as much scrutiny as his female counterparts in the industry, As he predicted, nobody seemed to notice or care that he wore the same suit every day. I thought that it was an amusing way to make a point, so I decided to paint him first. He looks a little smurf-like in blue, but I wanted to make him blue to match the blue suit.

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