Thursday, March 31, 2011

ISCA monthly competition..Nelson Mandela

Cropping can have a definite effect on the success of a piece. I had done a quick Ebony pencil sketch of Mandela's head and shoulders, which I scanned into Photoshop. Then I did some painting, but something wasn't working for me...til I cropped it tightly to emphasize his serene gaze:
Here you can see the preliminary stages.
The pencil sketch on the right had some problems (mainly his eye positioning and cheek widths) which I fixed on the next step. Generally, nowadays my under-sketch just needs to be 'in the ballpark' and I do the refining as I go along. When I was a kid, along with many other aspiring artists, I'd rush to get to the fun stuff---the details-- before making sure the foundations of the drawing were solid. Guess I still have a little of that mindset!

Update 4-1-11: My Mandela took second place in a field of twelve entries! The other winners were Euan McTavish and Jan Opdebeeck. The judge was 2009 Golden Nosey winner Glenn Ferguson, who offered this feedback:
2nd Place: Emily Anthony! The likeness on this was perhaps the best overall, and it hobbles the fence between caricature and portraiture, it really "feels" like Mandella, which is what I always preach to beginning caricaturists. The mouth for me is the strongest point, and I like the cropping you did in the end. My only critique is that it feels a little like a floating head. I'd love to see a hint of a neck or shoulders underneath him.