Pre- critque version:
In this portrait, I was trying to represent my love of animals and nature, as well as my appreciation for slowing down to enjoy little things. Water is often associated with calmness, coolness, and serenity, as well as being relied on by all lifeforms, and the flowing of my hair and the water drop pendant symbolize that. The nice, flowing quality of my hair was achieved by drawing lines that flow with the shape of the hair and all head in the same direction with no interruptions. It also gives the texture of strands of hair by using many adjacent lines.
I was very meticulous with the shading on the butterfly because I wanted it to be the focus since the picture is meant to represent how important just little things can be to me. It does stand out the most out of all the elements in the picture.
In the critique, I was complimented on the texture of the hair and how it flowed really nicely. However, it was also noted that the portrait looked unfinished. It was suggested that I touch it up a bit and get more values in there, and I agree. I got a bit too caught up in tiny details like the butterfly and the eyes and neglected other parts of the picture. I am going to go back in and touch up the shading values. I was trying to get too intricate with certain details (such as the background) within the time constraints so I need to simplify it a bit and start getting the picture working as a whole instead of wasting too much time on getting details right. So far I have changed the background to black since it was too distracting and time-consuming, and so that I can focus on the values in the figure more.
I took the suggestions from the critique and made mass improvements to the charcoal drawing, since it hadn’t been working the way I wanted it to at first. A suggestion from a classmate on how they used the shammy in very small circles in order to blend for smooth shading helped tremendously. I also went back and looked at the reference with a fresh eye and fixed the shading values by comparing them to each other. Adding more charcoal shading to the hair and face especially improved the look and feel of it. The hair’s flowing texture is even more pleasing to the eye now and less washed-out-looking. You can also clearly define the roots of the hair from the rest of the hair because it is the same tone as the skin tone, which really adds to the 3-dimension and realistic feeling of it. The only thing I wish I could have improved upon was the bottom half of the picture, which looks a little too light compared to the rest of the picture.