Over the years I have completed quite a few of these paintings. This is my favourite portrait style. One of my classes are very keen to learn how to develop this technique, therefore, I will be preparing some in depth lesson plans on How To for the new term in 2015. The best way to start practicing this technique is to source a black and white photograph of any well known, and when I say well known, I mean a face that almost everybody can recognise, personality. You are guided by the light and dark, the more contrast of the two, the better. Make sure it is a personality that you admire also when you start. Most well known faces have some standard poses that are easily recognisable, do not pick an obscure pose or expression. It is easy to source any of these photographs on line.
Some of the most beautiful shapes to draw are ballet dancers. When drawing two dancers the impression of one overall shape is important for design. Most dancing partners do become one shape so it usually works, as long as they are holding hands or parts of their bodies overlap. The Approach: When drawing figures the best measurement to use is the length of head, this is so useful when measuring length of body, arms and legs and also widths. Make an overall line drawing of the two figures. There are certain challenges within this drawing: the downcast face, the entwined hands, the tonal structure for the muscle shapes.