387 Portrait of Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in watercolor and fineliner pen

Portrait of Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in watercolor and fineliner penThis is  Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in watercolor and fineliner pen.

I’m still trying to work out this fineliner thing. Memadtwo (or one of them!) pointed out how you can just leave your “wrong” lines be, and draw on top of it with a “correct” drawing.. Maybe I ought to work with much more general lines to begin with – I think i tend to start off a little too detailed (draw and eye, then another eye) instead of drawing the overall shape first, and then gradually detailing it all at once. Anyhow, when you’ve drawn an eye, it’s hard to move it, without it all just becoming a mess of black ink that shines through any type of correction you might aspire to make. In the case of the prime minister above, I would have lowered his eyes a little bit and redone his mouth. I tried to fix the mouth a bit up with some white gouache, and even though it looks like it didn’t work, I assure you that he looked more dangerous before!

The best remedy when you get that feeling of a drawing starting to “go bad” is just to opt for expressionism and go a little wild.. People will think that the distorted features are made on purpose ! (didn’t you think that?)

He’s part of my “Rulers of the World” series, and you can see the original photo here

13 thoughts on “387 Portrait of Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in watercolor and fineliner pen”

  1. I always start with the eyes too; when I try to do overall shapes first it never works proportionally.
    I love the background, you should try some more abstracted things. I do remember your geometric elephants, but with color it could be really fun.

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  2. Wow, I really like the background!!! Wonderful colors!!! I once read a book about portraying and there it said: Don´t draw lines, try rather to draw shadows and forms. That helped me a lot, especially with pen/marker. I always try not to draw an eye, I try to draw it´s form. If you´re interested in the book (it´s really wonderful): “Drawing The Head” by William L. Maughan. Anyway, you got this guys glance really well!

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  3. It’s a good image. I like it. I am crazy about the little black lines. I see them less as holding color in than providing a crispy definition. I really like your advice: if things go bad, go wild.

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  4. I think this is a really good drawing. There is real weight in the posture and real emotion conveyed in the facial expression.

    In terms of drawing people, I tend to map out the shape of the head lightly just to get the proportions down. I then build up the contours and shape of the face using light and shade rather than drawing any lines. Only once I’ve done that do I add the details of eyes, nostrils, mouth line etc. I’m no expert but that works for me when drawing – though I’m having to learn how to do the same thing in acrylic. I also like leaving the “wrong” lines in a drawing. They add something to the drawing. If they are a distraction then I knock them back a bit with an eraser but still leave them. The Italians actually have a word for the sketchy lines beneath a drawing but that word eludes me right now. Maybe another reader will know it.

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