Friday, November 30, 2012

Rebecca Front as Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent in the detective series 'Lewis'.
Pencil on bristol paper by Martha Guthrie.
30 november 2012
Rebecca Front hates me.
And if she didn't, she does now. Look what a mess I made of her.
I can't get her face right, and believe me, I tried. I broke two pencils on her (allright, just two pencil tips, but for the sake of drama), and I even bought a new pencilsharpener. A red one, well, there you go!
I thought I'd try a different approach to portrait drawing this time. I started with rather dark tones on her face, in order to erase to the highlights.
Grand idea.
So after I made her a practically black woman, I took my kneaded rubber eraser and carefully picked up the unwanted graphite. I got bored rather quickly with this extremely slow process on creating highlights, and changed to a normal eraser. Yes! There! There! And there! Away with all the pencilstrokes! Until she no longer looked like a black woman, but an albino...
I sighed and started again.
I added some dark tones where they should go, and blended them carefully with a paper stump.
I then discovered that the paper had become totally unwilling through all my phrenetic erasing actions earlier.
Rebecca's face became no more than a stain.
And the over all look of the portrait was wrong anyway; eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, everything that makes a person that particular person. All wrong. But how to fix lines if they refuse to be erased anymore.
I left her face for what it was and hoped that the adding of her hair would make all the difference.
But when I drew a few lines, I remembered that I can't draw hair at all...
I'm sorry, Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent...


  1. I can see that it was a struggle, Martha. Just look at it as part of the learning experiment. Just tear it up, chuck it out and start all over again. You can do it! You've already proved that much.

  2. Thank you for the encouragement!