Thursday, October 08, 2009

School portraits

A couple of weeks ago Sunburst put up a sign on the wall advertising a portrait drawing business, and then she began drawing portraits of everything, from model animals to her little brother.

It was cute. We were all drawn in, so to speak, by her idea until all three kids and I found ourselves sitting around the table drawing portraits of each other. Hilarity ensued. The girls, Sunburst (10) and Moonshine (7), both decided to draw me. I figured it was a good excuse as any to come out of anonymity and show my face to the world.

E-gads! Is this what I really look like?!!

My favorite characteristics would have to be my new elfin ears and tiny, shark-like teeth. And the wrinkles-- look closely, folks, apparently my kids do.

I don't know what happened to me, but they're right about one thing. I've got some deep crevices across my forehead these days. I don't remember having them a year ago, so I'm going to chalk it up to stress and worry. It's Swiss memorabilia, right? Ugh. I might have to slip them a bit of chocolate in exchange for some artistic botox. Seriously!

Even Kitty Bill (4) notices them, as I discovered when he drew a picture of Moonshine and made deep lines across her forehead in the picture. When I questioned him on it, he insisted she had lines on her forehead "just like yours." Ahem. I asked him to look really closely at her to see if he could show them to me, and he was surprised to find that Moonshine's forehead was as smooth as butter. He promptly scratched the lines out. Although it pleased him to no end to include them on a picture of his dad, Einstein.

Einstein didn't fare too well either in Sunburst's picture. She gave him the same beady, little eyes she gave me. He's a lovely man in person though, and completely dashing, I think. Even if Sunburst did manage to capture his receding hairline, at least she didn't go adding silver paint accents to show off his gray hair. Here he is pictured next to her portrait of Kitty Bill.

Although I'm heckling the kids a little bit, it's all in good fun. Portraiture is HARD work, and I'm the first to admit it. It's one thing to draw a face AND get all the features scaled correctly, but it's entirely another thing to make that face actually look like the person you're drawing.

This is not quite Sunburst.

Close, but not her. Maybe in tens years she'll look like this, goggled-eyed and all.

And Moonshine? Forget about it. I tried to draw her twice, and neither of them even begin to capture her essence. There's something really elusive about her... if I keep trying, maybe I'll get it.

Since then Sunburst and I have been working on self-portraits in our German books. I don't capture my own image any better than I do the kids. But it's fun anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Portraits are the hardest thing to draw, but they are also my favorite thing to draw! I think you guys all did great; next to proportions, the most important thing is to note the details.


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