My dad mentioned something yesterday, that helped me think a little bit about my direction. He mentioned how the previous sketch I showed didn’t look photographic. I haven’t been really paying attention to that. But, now referencing back to all my previous head paintings and portraits, most of them are rather photographic. In my quest to get my drawing and painting better, I have diligently sought to be as authentic to the reference as possible, and given the current push of the academic painters and my training under them, I have tried to be painstakingly accurate; accurate to a fault.

The lens captures everything without bias. It also alters angles, increases contrast, and sharpens all edges. The worst part about photography is that it is monocular. We have binocular vision. Thus when we see an image, we are actually seeing two similar, however distinctly different, images superimposed upon one another. This collapse of images produces razor sharp edges in our center of vision, and fuzzy edges everywhere else. This is why great paintings speak to us more than any photograph ever could. They look more real to us, because it was painted how another person saw, not how the camera saw it.

Plus, as the artist, I have the ability to choose that which I think is essential, I can edit, I can accentuate, or I can exaggerate. These things, the camera, is woefully inept at. So, what is the prognosis? Paint more from life. This is the reason for the run, but I have failed to see that I need to be doing it more NOW, and perhaps in tandem with photography. I need to get outside more now.

That being said, here are two 30 minute sketches…from photographs. The first is a woman I thought was rather beautiful, and is an attempt at accurate local color with the alkyd paints in 30 minutes.

The second is a girl that I thought looked like my mother must have looked in high school. Notice the retro cat-eyed glasses. Pencil on paper.