Diane (graphite drawing)



“Diane”, portrait, an overview.


Portrait drawing alongside the reference photo I used.
Portrait drawing alongside the reference photo I used.



8.5″ x 11″ graphite on paper. This took a little over an hour to draw. In an attempt to get some portrait drawing practice warmed up again, I started sketching from a reference photo of photographer Diane Arbus (reference photo is here). I had some difficulty getting accustomed to the idea of measuring. Mostly working through it loosely, gesture drawing, I was able to come up with some approximate features. As you can see from the last picture comparing the reference against the final drawing, there are some slight misplacements: the eyelids are a bit too long, the eyebrows are not quite placed, and the lips are a bit overly-heavy in gradient, specifically the lower lip. The necklace needs a bit more a bend, and her hairline needs a slight adjustment to the left. Had I been evaluating these things carefully while I was drawing, instead of being completely absorbed, and measured accurately before drawing (and especially shading) the likeness would have been better. This is a thing I’m having to really work on: making decisions while drawing. It’s all-too-easy to get caught up and miss the details. In terms of developing my eye without measuring, this is a good exercise, but if I were to really do an honest, thorough work, I would definitely measure, measure, measure, and re-measure. It’s a discipline I have to work on, but I know if I put some time and attention into it, the rewards will be more than worthwhile.

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