Sketch of the Entire Family, No Planning
Last night, after putting the kids to bed, I was smacked with an urge to try to draw my entire family. I’ve drawn my wife and I together, and I’ve drawn our girls a couple of times, but I haven’t done a sketch with all four of us as a group. Usually for something like this, I’d draw a grid to help me with proportions, but this time I wanted to dive right in. I really wasn’t sure how that would work out, because it’s outside my normal process.
As I started, I thought about all the great advice I’ve received from others through comments on prior posts. Some of the most memorable have been the recommendations to “keep it loose” and “gestural.” I think generally it’s true that the quality of my sketches worsens when I tighten up and worry too much about getting it right. When I can just let it flow, let the pencil go where it wants, I think the drawings are better. So last night, as I outlined the figures, I didn’t obsess about the basic lines.
I’m surprised to say, I’m fairly pleased with the results. The lines are a little more squiggly/more rough than usual, and I think the proportions aren’t quite accurate because I didn’t use a grid. But the drawing isn’t too shabby! We all look like ourselves, which was certainly the goal.
Even though this was actually looser and more free flowing than my usual approach, somehow the final result looks a little less confident or something. I think it’s because I wasn’t focused on clean, true lines as I normally would be. When I was outlining, then filling in fine details, I didn’t worry about whether lines were a bit more wobbly.
I’ll post a poll here too, to see what folks think of this style.
Pingback: Working on More Realism in Family Portraits | Amdall Gallery
This is so cool! I love all the emotion, you did an awesome job capturing it. I love your blog as a whole!
Thanks for saying so Natalia. Likewise for your blog! I especially like that sneaker drawing, tons of excellent detail. I look forward to seeing more
Thanks so much, Jon! Means a lot! Can’t wait to share more, and I’m excited to see more of your work as well.
You’re doing great! It’s not easy to let things be loose, but this is a wonderful sketch. Keep on watching and listening to the advice of a few artists you admire and you’ll find your style. Btw, you have a nice family!
Thank you! The advice/commentary folks have passed has been gold – that alone makes me glad I got back into this site
You are a lovely family.
About the grid, I understand the concept and how it helps with accuracy but I find them so boring that I much prefer the loose sketch.
Yours is very dynamic for a static pause. Bravo.
That’s kind of you to say! I wasn’t sure how it would work out – using a grid has been a bit of a crutch for me. But I think I’ll try more like this
Lovely family portrait – you’ve really captured the expressions and mood!
Much appreciated! As usual when I draw these kiddos, our littlest is quite a challenge. Kids under one are just not easy for me to accurately capture