Saturday, March 22, 2008

Composing the Anishabe Profile Portrait

Some discussion on led to my helping explain how
I went about orchestraing this basic simple profile. Since many
artists do not really address it all that much, I thought it might be
informative and interesting to those that follow along on my blog
to see...

This illustration on the left shows dynamic line directional flow of the eye leading into the picture from the lower right mass/plane, finding a vertical to take the eye up, and several very strong downward sloping diagonals (always causes eye movement in paintings).

Before that vertical finds relief in those left downward diagonals though, we come to this very strong persuasive horizontal directive that could take us right out of the picture plane to the right, and will invite a balancing mechanism to pull the eye most assuredly to the left. That persuasive visual tension persuading to the right are the eyes peering at something off to the right. Thus what enters into the narrative is that looming question, what could it be he is looking at? This brings psychological visual bearing or weight to the out of picture right side, and works to balance out the strong diagonals. I like such subtle psychological tensions like this, which I think adds intrigue, and lest that peering right be too manipulative, you've got those diagonals now to pull the eye down and to the left.

Secondly, the golden means has the face resting on one of the ideal focal points, the back of the head nestled/butting up to another. Plus, the eyes are near the one focal point, the ear the other, and that button the lower right forming nearly a triangle whose vertex also is the in alignment with the sloping forward chest diagonal. The eyes easily find themselves navigating back and forth to these points of interest.

When I was working out placement, I just didn't like the feel of the visual tension or that it worked nearly as dynamically as I shifted the subject around, and it seemed to work better for my aesthetic gut to have it where it is.


Yellow said...

For some reason, I would shift the bust to the left, leaving an equal area of blank paper to the right. And the hat being so close to the top of the papaer seems like it's been sliced off, like you started the drawing too high up on the page. On the other hand, it's a fantastic drawing, which makes me mindful of an intensley cold wind, the way he's grimacing. The way you have portrayed the deep fur texture on the hat and his leathery skin is amazing.

Larry Seiler said...

you are not alone in wanting the profile left, but the dynamics I wanted just didn't feel to play out as I wanted them to. I think that speaks more to differences we as artists have, and the payoff is to the public that gets to enjoy variation.

appreciate the comments, was a fun one to paint! Looking forward to painting more of this nature...

Jason Seiler said...

Whoa, that's cool!