Capturing a likeness
One thing ive tried from time to time with my art is to capture peoples likeness. It's always been a struggle however with varied degrees of success and failure. For a while now i've been playing around with the idea of drawing some of my favorite Hip Hop artists and recently when i was thinking of this i remembered Mark Rudolph who is known for doing artwork depicting Heavy Metal Artists. Mark is also one of the hosts of my favorite podcast Art & Story and so i figured i'd shoot him a message on twitter to see if he'd do a podcast on capturing peoples likeness. I was definitely surprised by his quick response. The day after i tweeted my suggestion he had a response podcast in the Art & Story Supreme feed that im subscribed to. Thanks Mark!!!
Now the podcast he did is actually behind a payed subscription service (which you can check out for free as a 15 day trial btw). but i asked him if he wouldn't mind me sharing a few of the tips he spoke on in the podcast and he gave me the big green light.
What i learned
So the first thing that he said about capturing a likeness that i tested out was to start with the face shape. Mark said that if you can figure out the basic shape of the persons face that's a good first step. So I did a google search on my subject (Redman) and tried to do just that. What i noticed is Redman's face tends to take the basic shape of an upside down triangle sometimes. Almost like what you might see in drawings people make from supposed alien sightings.
The Second tip that i tried out was similar to the first. Find some of the most distinct feature shapes within the persons face and try to exaggerate them. What i noticed with Redman was that he has high cheekbones so i tried to exaggerate that with making his face look a little more longer and triangular than is natural. To further push this i considered what Redman is notorious for which is his indulgence in a certain herbal supplement if you know what i mean lol. So what i did with that was i made his eyes somewhat squinty and smaller than they actually are.
Taking it further
In the end i think i was only mildly successful on this first shot with these new tips but i definately think with some more practice i could improve greatly with these tips. I think my next step would be more exaggeration and to take less of a realistic approach. Id like to take this to a much more cartoony level also. Possibly i may have to slowly step away from the reference once i start to understand the shapes that make Redman look Redmany. Here is a link to the video of me inking this piece using ustream this past saturday. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13724858 Also shout out to Gonzalexx and Big_Dusty who kept me company while I was doing this drawring!
You can find...
Mark Rudolph at MarkRudolph.com
Art & Story at ArtandStoryPodcast.com
Redman at ReggieNoble.com
-Marshall aka Calmplex
Also Find me on Twitter, Facebook,and YouTube or email me at Plex@PlexHop.com
P.S. Check out this Art Card I did a while back of Redman before I listened to Marks recent podcast. You can grab it at my Etsy shop if you like.