Drawing a Likeness

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Everyone who paints or draws portraits worries most about one thing: getting an accurate likeness. But getting a likeness doesn't take genius and isn't based on a bag of tricks. It's really a matter of learning to use a logical procedure, based on careful observation of the subject, and then lots of practice.

Drawing a Likeness is divided into three parts. In the first part you learn how to analyze a head—how to recognize the basic shapes and their variations, and place the ...

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Overview

Everyone who paints or draws portraits worries most about one thing: getting an accurate likeness. But getting a likeness doesn't take genius and isn't based on a bag of tricks. It's really a matter of learning to use a logical procedure, based on careful observation of the subject, and then lots of practice.

Drawing a Likeness is divided into three parts. In the first part you learn how to analyze a head—how to recognize the basic shapes and their variations, and place the features within the larger form of the head. Drawings of many different subjects serve as examples. In the second part, the actual drawing procedure is analyzed in minute detail as three different-shaped heads—oval, rectangular, and round—are drawn. Each of these three demonstrations contains a photograph of the subject and develops the portrait in great detail (45 actual steps) right down to the finished drawing. In the third part of the book, you learn how to use different combinations of drawing materials to create a wide range of effects: charcoal, Conté, and carbon pencils on both gray and white charcoal paper, graphite pencils on illustration board, soft and hard charcoal sticks and pencils on smooth board, charcoal and carbon pencil worked over acrylic-gessoed chipboard. There are six demonstrations in this section showing how to draw men and women of different ages. Each demonstration has ten steps, one per page, and includes a photograph of the subject.

Drawing a Likeness is a basic, practical book for anyone who has ever tried to draw or paint a portrait—students, amateurs, professionals, and teachers.

In-depth demonstrations and drawings teach how to analyze and interpret the basic shapes of the head and facial features.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823013586
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1984
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 10.89 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas R. Graves was born in Denver, Colorado. After a year at Los Angeles Co College in California, he continued his studies at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where he later returned to teach illustration and figure drawing. He also taught anatomy and figure drawing at the College of DuPage in Illinois. In 1966 he won a Prix de Paris award. Formerly active in commercial art, Graves served as art director at Clinton E. Frank, Inc., Chicago, and at Foote, Cone & Belding. He has also worked as a book and editorial illustrator. However, the majority of his fine art works consist of commissioned portraits and drawings (including several for Portraits, Inc., in New York) for private collections in the United States and abroad. Graves is also the author of Drawing Portraits and Figure Painting in Oil, both published by Watson-Guptill. He resides in Burr Ridge, Illinois.
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  • Posted October 29, 2009

    Detailed Step By Step Approach for Beginners

    I reviewed a number of books to learn to draw portraits and this is by far the best for beginners like me. It includes a logical step by step approach that anyone can use to get good results even with immature drawing skills and yet also offers a useful foundation that can be used to improve results as drawing skills improve.

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