Before I go into my thoughts on working on this piece, I'm in a bind on what to name it. One of the things that attracted me to this gentleman, enough to ask his permission to take his photo, was his smile and the twinkle in his eyes.
That lead me to think of titles like, Sparkling, Twinkle, etc. I'm at a standstill, anyone have a good suggestion?
Sometimes, make that often, when I am working on a piece it takes me a while to get it finished. That doesn't mean I'm physically working on that piece the whole time. I often will put a piece on my design wall that I am having trouble with. That keeps it in view, which keeps it fresh in my mind. I can then mull it over until I'm ready tackle the problem.
This doesn't happen with every piece I work but generally it does with more detailed work. I began working on this gentleman months ago and finally decided last week that I WAS GOING TO FINISH HIM this week. So here he is.
I usually begin a portrait with the eyes and then work out from there. In the piece I discarded, the color of thread wasn't the only problem I encountered. I was very unhappy with the eyes.
( Bad photo lighting shows his skin darker here.)
My second start worked for me, and as I began to work on the piece I could see where changes, or details, needed to be added
I wait until I have the piece all but finished to go back and create the details.
I forgot to mention that I quilted the background before I added the head. I then finished his hair.
Notice his eyes, nose, teeth, mouth and beard here.
After carefully studying his eyes, nose, mouth and teeth, I added details that made those features look more like him.
One of the things that I feel is really important when you are working on a portrait is the high-lights and, of course, shadows that show on the face. This really shows off the nostrils, creases, and curves of the body. Last but far from least is the catch light in the eyes.
Without that the person, animal or insect will show no life.
I will be teaching Fabricating Faces with Thread at the NCQS in Wilmington, NC the weekend of May 29-June 1.
This post is linked to www.ninamariesayre.blogspot.com