Male Portrait with Silver Disc

This week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Tamara Laporte and the title was “Magic, Vulnerability and Courage”.  The lesson began with a discussion about why we choose the subjects that we choose, create the art that we do, work in the styles that we do.  This was all by way of consideration as to why we might continually use figures of one gender or a certain race or operate in a certain style as our artistic default.  While my subject matter is fairly eclectic, I do often work on figures who are female and caucasian.  While I had not really contemplated it before, I can only assume that that is because I am both female and caucasian.  Maybe when I am working from my imagination, I am projecting little bits of myself onto the paper.  Maybe it is just familiarity.  I will have to reflect on this some more.

This week we were directed to paint a male portrait.  It has been a while since I drew a human male face.  Back home in Scotland, I used to draw men regularly at life drawing class but I admit I was more keen on drawing backs and bums than I was on capturing facial likenesses.  It was, therefore, useful to have practice creating a male face once more since my skills had rusted rather a lot.  I don’t think I have ever painted a human male before.  Drawn, yes, many times but never painted.  Another bit of a challenge there.

I wandered away from the lesson a little.  In Laporte’s demonstration, she added a wing to her male figure that was reminiscent of the art angel I created in response to one of her bonus lessons.  Instead of the wing, I added a silver disc behind the bust of the male figure.  I decided to use the same techniques and approaches that I utilised when painting my Girl with Golden Disc back in April.  I used the same drips and splatters to build up the background but this time using shades of blue rather than the browns and neutrals I had used for the piece with the female figure.  The male portrait could then almost be a companion piece for the female portrait.

Week 23 - Male Portrait

While I can – as per always – see flaws a plenty in this painting, I am overall quite pleased with how it turned out.  At the very least, I have now painted my first male portrait.

16 thoughts on “Male Portrait with Silver Disc

    • Thank you very much. I’m glad you think you can detect my own style starting to emerge. I have my own style when drawing but it’s taking a while to develop with painting and mixed media.

  1. High five Laura! You did it. I’ve seen a lot of male painting from people who are taking life book as you but I think this one resembles all the male features.

  2. There is something very calming about this, his eyes are hypnotic….his eyes are looking at more at me than your self portrait….this is very nice…your style is really emerging…

  3. Is it painted from reference or from imagination? I really like this one.. There’s something mystical about his expression, and as others have said, he’s clearly male… I’ve never really drawn anything without reference and what I’m most worried about is as what i draw end up looking “generic”.. I somewhat “barbie and ken” -like.. I think yours has some really nice “specifics”.. Some features that are have something “personal” to them rather than just “the ideal nose, the ideal colar bone, etc.. “.. It looks like a fun exercise to draw something that you’re not used to..

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am especially pleased that you feel there are some specific characteristics to the face that make it look like an individual portrait. This was just drawn and painted from my imagination with no reference materials whatsoever. I rather think that might be why the hair went a bit wonky. I maybe could have benefited from reference material to get the hair right. I have drawn quite a lot of male faces over the years when life drawing so perhaps I was drawing from that experience to get the facial proportions correct for a male.

      • I actually thing the hair looks nice.. Maybe it’s a windy day.. I think that ears are the hardest part of a portrait, and I couldn’t imagine myself doing them from memory or imagination! I just noticed something – there’s no shading on the contours of the ears, like there is in the rest of the face.. I don’t know if there really wold be actually, since they have another shape than the rest of the face’s roundness.. Is it on purpose? 🙂

      • Ooh. Well spotted. No, it was not on purpose. I should be dishonest and claim it was. 😛 Just an oversight – and probably because I definitely find ears to be a challenge unless drawing them from life or a close-up photo. The ear on the right (his left) ought to be shaded. I may have to rectify that now that you have pointed that out to me. It is always great having a fresh pair of eyes look at something. Thank you!

      • I am afraid I am much the same. Unless it is a piece I am selling, once I am done with it then I am done. Especially with work that is produced as part of a course or a challenge, the oops bits, the ugliness and errors, are useful as measures of progress.

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