Monday, August 29, 2011

Sketch it..Live!

As Pareng Jotay had mentioned, taking photos of a toddler is no easy feat. For one, setting up the lights will wrack one’s analytical brain, only to realize that the little subject is no longer within the shot area. I may have not assisted him shooting his nephew but I can surely testify how much effort he puts in to get the right combinations of exposure, shutter speed, and power. (Free advertisement ni, P’re.)

I am not here to talk about photography, though, I plan to buy my own camera next year. It could be a Christmas gift though, if my brother is reading this.

I am here to talk about making a portrait of a live model.

Pareng Jotay was my first victim er … model. Very few people knew how many portraits Jotay had to endure until I was able to at least show his George Clooney-look on paper. This is my first portrait of Jotay, live! He was working on his netbook while I sketched him using a graphite pencil.

Lesson #1, never sketch while the model is doing something. Unless, of course, you asked him to minimize the head movement.

In my frolic with arts during summer, Carmel was gracious enough to sit for our class. I was personally grateful to her for she sat especially for me as a make-up activity  for my absence (No, I didn’t get sick or married, no one died in my family, and I was not sent by USC to represent the school to Big Brother’s house!)

Eventhough Carmel has to sit still for an hour, we allowed her to take breaks in between to stretch her sleeping muscles and mainly to relax.

Lesson #2, be considerate to your model. True, making her a portrait is not an everyday occurrence but one has to remember, your model is doing you a favor for sitting still when she can do other important personal stuff.

My third model is Stian, my classmate in art class. This time, we applied lesson #1. We let him surf the net. Our only request is for him to hold his head in one position. Afterall, we will sketch only his head.


Lesson #3, show your model your work, no matter how far the real one looks, for his comments.

Some might go berserk because the portrait looks like a monkey. Some will just smile and go in their quiet ways. Some will give you helpful comments.

While some, like Stian, would say “That looks like an actor from a movie! “.


  1. As in sketching, so it is in photography. These are very insightful lessons that you've shared, P're. Thanks.

    Allow me to thank you for the free advertising as well; but please, let us not insult George Clooney any more in your future posts. :-)#

  2. Insult George Clooney? It would be an honor for him to be compared to you. :) But thanks, P're, for finding this post informative and enjoyable. :)