Corinne maakt

My drawing and painting life

What makes a drawing look real?


I’m preparing for a drawing class. What to show and what to tell. And I’m going through my own drawings of the past two years, especially the ones from the Year of Daily Creating. I love seeing the series of faces of September 2015. I drew from 3D objects and from photos.

I drew from a wooden Buddha head at my sister’s house. I didn’t make a photo, so you’ll just have to imagine what it may have looked like. I drew three times. Looking and seeing, looking again, simplifying more and more, getting it into my system.

I drew in pencil, getting to know the shapes and planes of the head. I remember struggling with all the curls, how to put those in, loosing patience, moving on.

sep12_Buddha face #1 pencil crop

Then I drew the most important contours plus some lines in the face (below). I hadn’t planned a drawing session, I just pulled out my book and drew and tried several things. Didn’t think before starting. Again struggling, what to do with the curls?

Then I drew it a third time, making a quick drawing using a single line. I had to move on, at the same speed. Somehow I found a way to move on and simplify the curls, finally.

sep12_Buddha face pen #2 crop

I think it’s interesting to see that the expression changed from a friendly face in the first to a rather stern one in the last drawing. Same statue, different interpretation. I hadn’t noticed that earlier.

I rather like the last one. Not perfect, but the lines are confident. It’s not particularly close to the original which was probably more rounded. The pencil one is more round, and probably more like the original, but tentative. It’s clear that I’m searching still. Ah, I like that about it after all.

What do you think?

2 comments on “What makes a drawing look real?

  1. Sheila Marie Delgado
    May 12, 2017

    love them all, but the last especially. The tight curls look almost jewel like to me. Love the brows, the line along the cheek and chin in the last. And the little curl in the base of the contour drawing. Yes confident, but loose and impressionistic too 🙂

    • corinnebekker
      May 13, 2017

      Thanks my friend, for your kind and thoughtful remarks. ❤

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