I thought my art skills were good enough. My drawings were well received by others. Why mess with a good thing?
Well I wanted to be better. No, I wanted to be one of the best. I wanted to be up in the ranks with my idols of art. I’m not getting any younger. So I started drawing every day. My goal was to find areas where I could improve.
The drawings were looking good, but was I really getting the features in the right spots? I began taking photos of my sketches with a 50mm lens and then putting the sketch over my photo reference to see how close they were. I was surprised to see how off I was. Eyes were too big. Noses too low. Mouths too narrow. All sorts of problems became apparent.
So I kept drawing. I spent more time eyeballing my subject matter and looking for feature relationships. I studied my atelier books by Juliette Aristides and my drawing books by Andrew Loomis. I watched my videos of Cesar Santos drawing and painting his wife’s portrait.
One night I finished drawing my sketch guides of a little girl and snapped a quick picture. I pulled it into Photoshop, dropped the opacity a bit, and scaled it down until it was the same size as my actual photo. I was quite amazed at how my sketch looked almost like a tracing of the photo. All the features were in the right spots and were the right size.
My drawing skills had improved immensely over the past month.