Portrait Continues

January 11, 2013 § 5 Comments

I have taken myself off sugar. This is day 11, sugar-free. Strange things have been happening and not just mood swings. As if my brain considers peanut butter m&m’s my only source of the stuff. It’s like a circling wheel of challenges where it’s all I can think about one day, to feeling incredibly confident and strong the next. But I am not strong. Not yet. Painting helps.

hair and darker shadow side

hair and darker shadow side

Yesterday I didn’t have much time to work on Jake’s Master. I blocked in his hair and gave the shadow side of the face richer color. Then proportions started looking off again, so I noodled for a while. I can’t remember what needed noodling from these photos. I only remember I didn’t think about sugar for one second while I was in “The Zone.”


This morning the shape of the head didn’t look quite right and the left ear needed fixing again. ¬†Generally speaking, when you’re looking straight ahead, the top of your ears are in line with the middle of your pupils, and your earlobes the middle of the mouth. If you lift your chin a bit, the ear line falls along the lower eyelids. In the photograph, the head is slightly tilted up.

I went back and forth adjusting the tone of the shadowing along the left side of the face and the hairline (both things I should have blocked in to begin with). I kept making the face either too wide, or square or not wide enough, which made the right ear appear too large. You’ll see in the photograph how the forehead line actually angles up to the left slightly. So lots of noodling. About two hours. But in The Zone? It felt like two minutes.

worked on left ear and hairline

worked on left ear and hairline

Jake’s Master has a Mona Lisa-ish smile. Like he knows something we don’t. The painted mouth wasn’t getting it and then I saw why – I had drawn the line between upper and lower lips in a dip, curving down in the middle. In the photograph, that dark red line actually separates the lips in a slight arc up in the middle. Like this.

mouth and pupil of right eye

mouth and pupil of right eye

I was hesitant to go for that right eye again, having missed its placement before, so I only painted the pupil, which is good, because now I’ve got it straight across from the left eye and it needs to go higher still.

I’m always surprised by the difference between painting what I “know” about a subject and what I actually “see” with my own eyes. Seeing takes more time.

Thanks for spending it with me. Hope you have a great weekend…2 B continued.


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§ 5 Responses to Portrait Continues

  • paul davis says:

    Wow! No sugar? I’m extremely impressed. Even if you fail completely, I’m extremely impressed.

    And I’m very interested in your telling of the painting process. The best line: “Seeing takes more time.” All art teachers know that no one really sees what they are looking at.

    • pierrmorgan says:

      Hi Paul – thanks for the cheers! Much appreciated. It’s really weird completely passing by the candy aisle at the grocery and not steering down it. A physical challenge, my movements were so automatic. I’m sure that’s why the painting is so great for me right now – to pull it off I need to be awake and fully conscious, focused in the moment. The way you must be looking through that lens.

      • paul davis says:

        My focal moments surely are a lot shorter than yours, as a painter. But it is true that when I’m looking through a lens I am so completely in the moment that I forget I exist. You could say, so conscious I forget to be self-conscious. It’s an elixir.

  • Glad to hear there will be times of forgetting about sugar. I’m very nervous to begin my journey without sugar and I’m looking forward to hearing your progress. Beautiful site, beautiful art.

    • pierrmorgan says:

      You’ll be great. And very productive I’m sure, as you’ll probably write about your sugar honey left behind. Thanks for your sweet comments. I’m day glow. Can’t wait to read about your trip.

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