Portrait of a Young Boy – Sanguine Drawing

portrait drawing of a young boy in prrofile - sanguine

‘Portrait of a Young Boy’ – Sanguine, 15 x 20 cm approx, © adam cope

The Likeness Part of a Portrait – Watteau

Watteau

Jean-Antoine Watteau ‘ Three Studies of a Young Girl Wearing a Hat’
1716 Sanguine & charcoal

To master the capturing the likeness part of a making a portrait, try doing the same head  three times.  Can you maintain the likeness consistently in all three drawings?

I am humbled by Master Watteau. Not only three drawings but three different angles as well. And look how beautifully laid out on the page they are. Almost like cinema… different view points, different angles. Different moments in time.  Ephemeral.

I’ve not succeeded in doing three on one page. Actually I haven’t yet tried , other than drawing the same people over & over again, such as the three views of Peter (on five e sheets of paper) in the previous post or the evolving suite of drawings of my children over the years, watching them closely as they grow.

watteau-little-girl

Two Studies of the Head and Shoulders of a Little Girl
c. 1716-17; Red, black and white chalks on buff paper, 18.7 x 24.4 cm; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

It surprises me the speed with which we recognize someone. Even when they’ve aged & morphed some over time  or we when only get a slight glimpse in a funny angle. Bang! We recognise them instantly. What is the mechanism by which see recognize the likeness of someone?

I paint people not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be. – Lucien Freud

Watteau obviously enjoyed doing this type of ‘two of kind’ or ‘three of a kind’ portrait. Again on one sheet of paper :

watteau-2Kids

Cute isn’t she  🙂     I also warn anyone of the difficulties of drawing a smile… very difficult . I once sat for a painter friend who wanted to try this . I had to grin &smile for hours… it was very painful to hold a smile, which, after all, is ephemeral. Passing like all feelings & sentiments, shifting states of minds – ‘passing clouds’ my grandmother used to call them.. That portrait looked horrible too.

And so now to finish-off with, here’s some Eighteenth Century Rock’n’Roll :

Watteau, Jean Antoine (1684-1721) - Homem tocando guitarra, 1717-18

'lili' detail conté 2013 © adam cope

‘Portrait of a Young Girl’ Detail Sanguine © adam cope

 

 

Life’s a Beach

 
‘Telly Fans 10’  by adam cope – sanguine
 

 
‘Telly Fans 8’  by adam cope – graphite

Intimate Portraits by Artist’s of Their Own Children

I overheard on the web some artists saying that they couldn’t possibly do portraits of their own kids as it was ‘too close.’  I don’t agree. Neither did a lot of artists much more well know & much more further on down the artist’s path than I. Be they Mums or be they Dads. Often that extra intimacy with the model makes for a magic that isn’t found in more run of the mill portraits. Watching one’s own children is one of the treasures of parenting.

Take Augustus John’s portraits of his children for example.  Here’s one of his son Robin (1912). A real boy if ever there was. Glaring firely out of the painting, obiviously not far-off from a tantrum:

 

Another favourite of mine are Matisse’s portraits of his son Pauln (done from memory I seem to remember):

 

Cézanne’s son Paul (how did he get him to sit so so so very still for so so long?):

 

Then there’s Gainsbourgh’s two daughters ( When I was a little boy, I used to stand before this in the National gallery London with my Granny & laugh. A cabbage white, two sisters & a smile & a little hand reaching out) :

 

Rembrandt’s kids… maybe this is a scene from family life :

 

More on Rembrandt’s Drawings of Children – Anticipation & Action and Rembrandt’s Gesture Drawing

 

Gabrielle de St.Aubin :

 

Chardin (wisely skiving off his home-work):

 

Renoir (very diligent boy this):

 

Picasso , of course….many many times over! In some ways, I’m now refinding the greatness of Picasso via his images of his own children… it’s all there : love, play, intimacy, likenesses (consistant over a series & different styles), talent of course… fireworks of course… fun ,as you’d expect from kids 🙂 Here is an image that sings of eternity, of why we parents love our children 🙂 I really didn’t realise that Picasso had done quiet so many paintings of each child, with no thought for commercialism, voyeuristic onlookers,  etc:

 
 
 
 

Maurice Denis, Augustin Rouard et Lucien Jonas.

 

I could go on with this list…

And what about all the old paintings of kids …Do we know if they are the children of the artist or somebody else”q children? Some of the Quattrocento drawings of kids are astounding!

Lastly, here’s  a personal favourite of mine : Winifred Nicholson’s painting of her own two kids.

 

The last word to Kathleen Raine on Winifred Nicholson, (who lived not far from where I trained at Newcastle University UK art school at the same time …I wish I met her!)

… to be with Winifred was to be with a totally committed artist, for whom each day shed its light on a new theme for a painting. The ever-changing light of the seasons, the flowers, the weather, the arrivals and departures of children and grand-children, all these gave her what she called the ‘stories’ of her paintings in which she captured the day, the hour, and ever-fleeting present.  –   Kathleen Raine, quoted by Alice Strang, Winifred Nicholson, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2003

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A stray thought crosses my mind about actors/actresses & their off-spring, especially those that become actors/actresses in their turn.

‘e, the artist’s daughter’ by adam cope, sanguine.

 

related posts:

Drawing of Mother & Child – attachment theory – Bed Time Story 9

Telly Fans 10

 

funny one this!

Telly fans 9 – Child Portrait Tips

telly fans 9

‘telly fans 9’   – Valentin watching television
drawing of a child – graphite, sketch book

 

Maybe this looks like what Vally might look like some years on from now? Compare it with ‘Telly Fans 8’ below. Can you see the difference in age?
telly fans 8

‘telly fans 8’  –  Valentin watching television
graphite, sketchbook.

 

Getting the age right is an essential part of a portrait, especially for a portrait of youth. Portraits of old age are easy in comparison! For example, wrinkles. Wrinkles are a clue that indicates the age of the sitter. Their presence in a drawing or painting are frequently due to the simple fact of just too many marks & strokes i.e. a lack of an economy of means, which is the ability to get it right first time.

My fellow-painter friends who do portraits for money tell me that flattery works every time. They consciously take ten years off the resemblance by knowing the markers that indicate youth & tweeking them.

QUESTION : Can you identify the elements in the above drawing that indicate the age of the sitter?

(I reckon there’s about ten of them)

tellyfans 8

telly fans 8

telly fans 8 – Valentin watching television
graphite – sketch book

quiet pleased with this one 🙂

 

better copyright but that wont stop anyone from doing whatever they want with this jpeg will it?

 

anyway here goes… ha….. ©

 

Tree Climbing for Boys : Down

'Tree Climbing for Boys : Down' pen & ink © Adam Cope

‘Tree Climbing for Boys : Down’
pen & ink
© Adam Cope

 

pen & ink wash drawing

3 of 3 illustrations for a book.

Tree Climbing for Boys: In

Tree Climbing for Boys: In - Pen & Ink © Adam Cope

‘Tree Climbing for Boys: In’
Pen & Ink wash
© Adam Cope

2 of 3 illustrations for a book

Tree Climbing for Boys 1

'UP' 'Tree Climbing for Boys 1 ' ink 21 x 30cm ©adam cope

‘Tree Climbing for Boys – UP ‘
ink brush watercolour
21 x 30cm
©adam cope

One of three illustrations for a story about a boy climbing a tree.
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