Arts, Uncategorized

#28PortraitChallenge, Part 1

I hadn’t planned on doing any art challenges this month, but when djamilaknopf posted this, I felt that it was a challenge I could do. Especially as my main art consists of portraits already…

I probably will not finish the challenge entirely due to university commitments, so I am just aiming for a minimum of 14 portraits (it’s the 22nd now, so I’m not sure I’ll even hit that challenge…). I’m not following the prompt list, and I’m also not posting all my work on my instagram feed since it would mess up the organisation I have going on with it right now (!) so there really was no pressure to keep to the challenge and no risk of burning out.

Have a look at the Insta post below (scroll to the 2nd photo or look at the caption) for the challenge details.

I was in two minds about how to approach the challenge. In the end, I decided on doing some studies alongside my usual kind of drawings, and to use these studies to push my current skills with more variety. I mean more kinds of people, more age groups (master the wrinkles!), and more settings and lighting (underwater, fire, mirrors). I collected a bunch of interesting photos to study from, mostly from Unsplash. I also have a backup stash of K-pop idols and instagram sources to doodle when things get tough.

Date drawn: 02/02/2021 (already starting late…)
Time taken: About 3 Hours.
Reference: Oladimeji Odunsi. Unsplash / Instagram

I really liked the striking combination of colours in this photo – I like saturated colours, and I think this fits in with my other recent arts pretty well. I am ashamed to say that my own art and my instagram feed needs more subject diversity – one of the downsides of being primarily inspired by K-pop, I guess. That is something I will keep working on. (Even so, that in itself stems from me feeling more represented in the most mainstream places I could find (anime… and K-pop…) even if they are not Vietnamese and very far away from British-Viet. That’s a rant for another time. But anyway…)

For the first portrait of this challenge, I am really pleased with how it turned out. I am currently using more and more of the Jingsketch Basic 10 Brush set for Procreate (available here) and I’ve been using a sized up version of Sketch Round to colour, just because I really like the texture of the brush and it’s not as dense as some other brushes in the pack. The results come out super soft looking.

I’ve also been better at trying to add stray/small hairs to my portraits. Often, it feels like too much work, but it does make the whole portrait seem more relaxed and gives it a breath of life, so to speak.

Date drawn: 02/02/2021
Time taken: Under 3 hours.
Reference: Unsplash, Xenia Bogarova.

Yes, I did a second study that same day. This time, I wanted to try out a different expression, so that was the focus here (>.<) I feel like you can’t tell just by looking, but from the start, trying to draw this was really difficult – I was struggling to find a way to simplify the expression especially for the sketch. It looked right from the sketch, but I wasn’t convinced by the pout until towards the end, when I added the lighter parts of the lips.

Date Drawn: 03/02/2021
Time Taken: Under 2hrs.
Reference: Unsplash, Donald Teel.

I will admit I rushed through this one a lot and might go back to it in the future. (I was in the mood to study… for my degree (!) on this day, so I wasn’t about to let that feeling go to waste and went on a bit later than usual). This photo is full of elements I wouldn’t usually draw- wrinkles, and a beard for starters. It’s a lot of lines. I think what would have helped the most if if I had added more weight to those wrinkle forming lines. I think it’s also missing a lot of texture from that. And you can tell I straight up got lazy with the hair and beard.

In short, I got the Feel but it needs more weight. I want to try drawing more elderly people this month, hopefully, so I hope I will have improved by the end of this challenge.

Date Drawn: 05/02/2021 – 22/02/2021
Time Taken: No idea, but quite a while.
Reference: Unsplash, Daniel Montiero

This took a while because I got stuck and had a lot of uni work to do in between. I laid down all the base colours and then I just didn’t know what to do next. Then I just added some little things to finish it for now. I’m still not very happy with it – just something about the lighting isn’t right – but I got a sense of where all the reflected colours came from, if that makes sense. I’d like to try and do another study with unusual lighting.

That’s all for now! How have you been challenging yourself this month?

Until next time,


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