Facial Planes Study: Portraiture


Today I did a study of Frederic Fiebig‘s 1905 Self Portrait, primarily because I am currently interested in facial planes on my portrait painting journey. I did not try to replicate his palette (and still have lots to learn on colour mixing) so the colours are different.

I ended up with a sharp-edged result, (much like his) which I then proceeded to soften. I think that was probably a mistake, but hey I am engaging in experimentation so all is not lost. Which version do you prefer? I think I prefer the hard-edged one.

I prepared my small canvas with black gesso before applying oil paints. Working on a non-white ground really does create a different effect and also helps to eliminate the ‘white canvas intimidation’ that so many of us face.

A copy of Fiebig’s 1905 painting directly below:

frederic-fiebig-a
Frederic Fiebig. 1905. Self Portrait. Oil on cardboard.

My hard-edged version below:

hard

And my soft-edged version:

soft
Anndelize Graf. 2018. Fiebig Study. Oil on canvas. 8 x 10 inches.

Thanks for joining me on my portrait painting journey. I hope you will return soon to see what I attempt next as I work at improving my portraiture skills.

Have a creative weekend all. 🙂

 

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Facial Planes (Portraiture)


I am new to portraiture. Most beginners will agree that it is a daunting and intimidating task. My first step toward portrait painting was to do a study of the facial planes based on a plastic head model in my studio, using oils on canvas. There is much room for improvement and I will need to practice a lot more before I’m totally satisfied with the results, but it’s a good start.

Facial planes are important because they are the building-block of shading, they help to determine where highlights and shadows go on the face to create a 3D effect rather than a flat painting. Different lighting effects will cause some facial planes to recede into shadow while others are highlighted, these change as the lighting and viewer angle is changed.

Like most things portraiture does not exist in a vacuum, there are many things to consider, not least of all how to accurately draw the face before painting it. One way is the Top Down Drawing Technique that I blogged about a few days ago.

As I develop my portrait painting skills over the next year or so I’ll post updates on the blog for those of you who’d like to follow my progress.

 

I am a member of blogging communities, you will find my posts here too:
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