Hi everyone! Recently, I began to feel the need to practice my sketching and general art skills. For one of the first sketches I wanted to do, I decided to redraw a classic painting. After searching online, I found a portrait painting of Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire. Years ago, I sketched my own version of the painting for an art class. Sadly, I don’t have photographs of the art I did for the class to post online. I enjoyed recreating the painting, but there were things that got on my nerves about my interpretation. Since I’m trying to make myself become a better artist, I decided to revisit the painting and try to fix the things I didn’t like the first time.
I don’t remember the whole entire process of how I copied the original portrait, but I do remember I started with a sketch. This time, I wanted to start with a sketch on paper and .7 mechanical pencil and then turn it into a digital painting.
Here is what the sketch looked like once I completed it…
As you can see, it is just a rough sketch. Since this isn’t the first time I copied this painting, I had some familiarity with it. Still, I was surprised and amazed how fast I remembered working on my first version came back to me. It really did make sketching faster and easier!
I remember the first time I sketched this painting I had trouble with the fabric on her dress and her left hand. I also struggled with the way her hat set on her head. Now that I have more experience as an artist, I found sketching the folds of the fabric and her hat much easier. Yet, her hand still was annoyingly hard to sketch.
Back then, I couldn’t figure out why I struggled so much creating her hand. Instead of including her hand in my portrait, I cut out that section of the painting and focused on her face more. I don’t remember if I got into trouble for it, but I know I didn’t get a bad grade for doing this. This time around, I wanted to tackle the hand.
After sketching, resketch, and resketching again, I realized my problems are scaling. I couldn’t figure out if her hand is proportionate to the rest of her body. Georgina wore a huge hat, huge hair, and a huge amount of fabric. This makes her hand quite small in comparison to the rest of her. Her face looks normal and everything she wore complements her face in the portrait. As for her hand, I couldn’t figure it out. Also, it is posed in an odd position for scaling. It could be her hand is just a different size than the rest of her body (People do have different sized hands than what would be “ideal” for the height, weight, body structure, ect.) but the reference picture I used didn’t show it clearly.
Anyway, the hand I stetted on the hand I sketched. Since this is a sketch, I could get away with not making it defined or clear at this time. I’ll try to make it more defined later.