I usually produce several portraits at this time of year for family and friends and this year I need speed and accuracy as I have more than normal. My family are harsh judges too and they are not keen on my more expressive portraits. They want a 'good likenesss' over an emotional one.
I usually do a vague unmeasured grid by eye when I am working from live models or photographs which is guaranteed to be unreliable. I still make errors after all my years of professional practice.
This year I have a double portrait and these are especially hard because the heads need to be in relation to each other and are age-specific. Also, if you mess up one of the heads, after the other is perfect, you may waste days of work.
So I left nothing to chance and found grid software. Mural painters and graf artists always grid up anyway and are well versed in the technique. The link will take you to a really simple online gridding facility.
It really is superb. You can size the grid as you wish and download the gridded image to your phone or laptop etc.
I bought a really good bendy light and phone stand on eBay really cheaply. It is actually for YouTubers to make videos but it works really well to mount my phone with the gridded image of my model and the light is strong enough at night to light my paper.
The more detail and preparation you do at the start the better your finished portrait and if you are looking for photorealism, you need to be perfect.
Any kind of enlarging necessitates a good formula for reproduction. Artists have been using techniques to assist them since art began. There is a lot of software available now to project onto the paper too and many new artists are really embracing it and cutting out the hand techniques totally. I will share some blogs about the software soon.
I am working on portraits at the moment that look like marble and decorating them with gold so the gridding up idea is perfect. I am a trained artist and usually work freehand with live models and lots of movement. But working with photographs is a different sort of drafting. Lockdown has made life drawing impossible anyway. You do have to be careful not to just copy a photograph though otherwise it looks unprofessional and boring. Injecting uniqueness is a skill when you use photos as your source material.
I work on the 3d once the 2d is established. It is a sort of map really. I am very old school when it comes to most of my portrait work. Also, I find the process of concentrating on minute details really therapeutic. As someone plagued with anxiety, the act of drawing helps my mental processes and calms me down. But if I get too involved then I get anxious about the work so I have to be careful. I can easily stay up all night and the next day when something is not going my way.
I hate being bent over a PC. I haven't worked out why it hurts so much more than drawing yet, but after an eight hour day, the body is paying the price for working with tech. It may be more to do with the hands and arms, drawing is more physical than typing. Plus, I always draw cross-legged on the bed or floor but I can't type like that. Assuming the Yogi position is probably a better idea ergonomically.
I like to work with unusual models so my content for the Dominartist Project is a series of drag queens and unknown models in difficult situations from around the world. The people that are less noticed often or ridiculed.