Friday Portrait, October 3

Today’s sitter was Ruth, who had the wonderful skill of both sitting still and genuinely smiling for extended periods of time. A rarity, indeed.

The warmup


Figure study


Black & white drawing; I like it, but realize now that the chin is too short. Always something…


Sketch for a quick (maybe too quick – I only had an hour left) color study

I went with a complimentary color scheme today, because there were a lot of orange tones in her skin and hair.



And the final. I don’t think I was finished with it yet, but time was up.


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4 Responses to Friday Portrait, October 3

  1. walt says:

    Seems to me she has “smiling eyes” – or perhaps they just reflect her feelings. But how can you draw or paint that into the eyes? For some reason, the eyes are the first thing I look at when I see a woman. I liked the final product, but I thought your initial sketch caught the smile in her eyes the best. Fun stuff!

  2. julie says:

    You’re right about the eyes, Walt. There are actually visible signs of a real smile – they tend to get a bit squinty, with the skin underneath puffing up, and with a bit of extra sparkle. That’s why in Japanese animation, when a character is supposed to be exaggeratedly happy the big eyes are replaced with narrow lines, often like this: ^^ Even if the rest of the face is blocked off, you can tell if someone’s smiling by looking at their eyes. Unless they’ve gone and botoxed themselves, anyway.

  3. luvlatins says:

    Hey speaking of eyes. Kody is now 17 weeks old and his eyes are still green. I am hoping to show him later but understand that his eyes are supposed to be the color of his coat. Do they change later ? Just curious

  4. julie says:

    They do change (unfortunately!). Lyra’s were a vivid blue when she was young, a really gorgeous, arresting color. They’re still lovely, but a more usual brown now. The change was gradual, I think, but by the time she was a year old they weren’t blue anymore.

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