Monday, July 30, 2012

Drawing people with a courtroom artist

Yesterday Kim and I did a workshop called 'Quick Gestural Portraiture' with courtroom artist, Lisa Nolan. If you live in Melbourne you will almost certainly have seen her court drawings in The Age and Herald Sun newspapers. Melbournites especially will recognise in the drawing below, infamous criminal (now-deceased), Carl Williams:

by Lisa Nolan [source]

As you can see, Lisa is pretty darn good! She had really good advice about only focusing on drawing shadows and shapes and to only draw what you see, rather than what your brain tells you that you see. Easier said than done!

I find drawing people quite a challenge so it was great to spend a day really looking and drawing, and thinking about drawing...and trying not to think about drawing! I found the more you think about how a face should look the less successful your drawing turns out. We had three very different sitters as subjects to draw and the variety was great. We also heard some interesting stories from inside the courtroom!

Here are a couple of my less embarrassing efforts

Lisa keeps a pocket-sized journal she takes with her everywhere and it was fascinating to flick through it and see all her lovely personal drawings of faces. It's hard not to feel a little disheartened when you see your own work not measuring up but I had to keep reminding myself that I don't actually ever draw people! I have to make a real effort to practice in order to see results.

Hmm, that's easier said than done too ;)