Studying facial features and expressions is essential to understand the form, lighting, tonal differences, colors and depth. I personally believe that it is essential to master each component of a painting before assembling them all into a composition. Moreover, practice helps to keep honing one’s skills. Pencil is the most suitable medium for initial study. You could use 2H or 1H for initial sketch and develop tones using soft grades like 2B to 6B. The support lends to the depth of a pencil work. You could use soft grades and smudge with your fingers to build tonal gradation (!)
Study 1 – I used an old black and white photograph taken using a box camera as the reference. I was quite taken up with the lighting (overhead Sunlight) of the picture, and tried to capture the same.
|Study 1 - Little Boy|
Study 2 – Here again, a black and white photograph was used as a reference. In this study, I tried to capture the girl's laughter in its full gaiety.
|Study 2 - Laughing girl|
Study 3 – In this study, the subject is smiling and the same is expressed by her eyes as well. The trick is to capture the nuances of the emotion as well as facial expression.
|Study 3 - Smiling woman|
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