An Obvious -- Yet Still Painful -- Confession

I suppose it's pretty obvious from my work, but I've done practically no portraiture since art school. And I wasn't very good at it back then, either. I'm sorely tempted to make excuses, or couch this in words that would be gentler to my ego, but the truth is it's a fundamental skill I have left woefully undeveloped. I need to change that.

These are my third, fourth, and fifth efforts from today. I console myself with two things. 1) I'm making different mistakes each time. Surely this means I'll be able to get better, right? 2) The photo I'm working from -- taken with a terrible phone under the many banks of florescent lights in the GenCon art show a couple of years ago -- is exceptionally poor, as reference photos go. (See how I don't understand her far cheek? Clearly it couldn't be my fault, so it must be the vague passages of shadows, highlights, and reflected lights are disguising the forms. I'm just not good enough to cover for it. Drat.)


This is for an upcoming board game from Crosscut Games, and they said I was welcome to share the project here. We had -- basically -- the one on the top left when I started this page of thumbnails. My plan was to see if I could find something we liked more. I didn't, so that's what we'll go forward with.

The next step is research and reference.


Extra Lines

Last week at Borders I bought a Piccadilly graph paper notebook. The first few pages were used for estimating dye sublimation printing costs, nesting said dye sub images on fabric, and ideas for a game for my daughter's 5th birthday party that we didn't have time to make. Then I got to sketching in it, and it wasn't bad. The graph lines are a bit darker than I'd like, but once I got going they weren't disruptive.