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Portrait Drawing

I am still working my way through the Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson and my next project in the book was a full face portrait.  I usually sketch my grandchildren from the back because I rarely can get a real image.  I recently started drawing half-face images from photos which is fun, but doesn't bring me much closer.  Last night, in honor of the signing of the Health Care Bill, I decided to try another tool and sketched President Obama using a grid over a photo.  I now understand why artist's find grids so useful! 

I spent my entire 40 year medical career working as a salaried employee of several medical schools.  In that capacity I supervised care in VA Medical Centers attached to our medical schools and in county and city hospitals.  So I have a great perspective on the lack of health care for indigent patients.  I am one of those physicians who believe that we are now started on the right pathway - demonstrating that we can provide what other civilized countries do to care for our fellow human beings.




Bravo! Both for the drawing, which is awesome! and for the human position you have taken about health care!

An excellent exercise I have never tried and a perfect result ! Great job !

Yes, grids are fun and helpful, and have been used by artists for a very long time ... but then, I'm sure you knew that! Wonderful portrait of Obama! I'm with you about the health care bill. I am a retired nurse and saw first hand what poverty does to folks who need medical care. Now I volunteer in the health dept. in our county, and it's just heart-breaking when people come in with serious medical problems and have no where to turn for help. I just hope it doesn't get derailed in this next phase of its passage. nancy

Great job, Shirley. It seems all this studying is showing great results in you drawing skills.

Great job with the portrait! I used grids for a long time to transfer compositions from a small photo or sketch to a larger format such as on canvas. I have been trying to practice more with faces too - probably should use a grid for that! I appreciate your insight into this health care debate that seems to upset so many folks. I agree with you that it's a start on the right path.

Super job. I guess when I dare a photo I might try a grid. No I won't. I'm lazy and I'll just draw it and not be happy and THEN I'll use the grid! I am soooo happy this healthcare bill passed. I am especially hoping the preventive medicine works out with it as I expect. I need a tetanus booster and don't want to pay for a doctor's visit just for a shot. Sure I can put in my insurance papers but I don't use up the deductible or copays so the whole bill is mine. My sister works in a plant nursery and has no insurance at the age of 63 so she hasn't had a tetanus booster in years. You can't pay for a doctor's visit when you live on less than 1k/month in California. Anyhow, thanks for caring for the VA guys. They took good care of my husband when he needed a quadruple bypass.

Great drawing. And I'm delighted that Obama got the healthcare bill through. It's normal for me - I've lived in a few countries but always with health care. Can't imagine why you wouldn't want it. I have the other Dodson book - the Drawing from the Imagination one. I use grids a lot for painting because it really helps to get perspective right.

You really captured him. I did a lot of grid work in drawing classes. It really does help with portraits.

I believe this is the best Obama sketch I have seen yet!! You need to do more faces, and yes grids are a big help, I need to use them more !

This is an amazing portrait Shirley! :) If you're selling, trust me I am sure they are gonna be lots of interested buyers.

Greetings, Shirley! I was so happy your government has made such an important stride on the path toward national health care. As a Canadian who has been protected by a fine national health care system since birth, I was always quietly appalled at the stories I heard from my American friends; good, hardworking people bankrupted by the inevitable health needs of old age, or an illness that was no one's fault, and who are left rationing their prescription drugs, and fearing the future. A friend who, not knowing she had recently become pregnant, and had a catastrophic miscarriage of a much wanted child while at a Florida conference, then having to raise the $40,000 her emergency care cost before she left for home. Happily, she was eventually reimbursed, but it was a terrible stress at a time already full of that. National health care is a kindness we offer one another, particularly when, as you note, the people who need it most are often not in a position to get it for themselves.

And I love your sketch. As usual!

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