Portrait practice


I painted a portrait last weekend and it wasn’t very good. I needed to practice. A friend of mine tipped me about an app for the iPhone called Sktchy. People upload there selfie portraits and artists paint them if they find them interesting. It’s a great copyright free resource for artists. I used the app for the first time yesterday. I have no idea who the dude is.

Arches 27 x 37 cm

Meldrum portrait practice
Meldrum portrait practice

Grid drawing

This is a portrait of Swedish trotting catch driver called Björn Goop. I used a grid to help me get the proportions correct. It was really easy to draw his likeness in this manner, it almost felt like cheating! 😉

Björn Goop by David Meldrum
Björn Goop grid

Björn Goop by David Meldrum
Björn Goop

Lars Lerin

I was reading Lars Lerin’s book, “Mellan husen” last night. It’s a collection of his work from the time he was living in Lofoten. I couldn’t resist trying to do his portrait. It’s close but something is missing.
Sketch of Lars Lerin
Sketch of Lars Lerin

Imperfect portrait

I look at my portrait of Anders Zorn and wish I spent more time trying to capture his likeness. At the same time I am happy with the painting. I completed it during two of my lunch breaks. The clock was against me, it wasn’t perfect from the start but I pushed on regardless, my goal was to paint and learn, which I did.

Life drawing has thought me not to get hung up on details, just draw and never pause for thought until the bell goes pling! Some day I will have time to paint and I hope by then I’ll have mastered watercolouring enough to excel at it. Until then, I practice. Time permitting.

Anders Zorn by David Meldrum
Anders Zorn


I don’t recognize myself but others do …

I recognize myself but others do not.

I was using a mirror for my self-portrait. I discovered that no one I showed it to recognized me. They do not see a mirror image of course. I never thought about it until now, if I ever hang this painting on a wall, it will have to be close to a mirror!

Painting in the studio

Here you can see the original painting in progress, little did I know at that point that the portrait was flipped and therefore not me.

More Bacon

I could not let it go, I had to have another try. This was a quick sketch were I focused on the shapes of the face and not the details.

Francis Bacon by David Meldrum
Francis Bacon

Not a very crispy Bacon

I scrubbed so much at this portrait, so it lacks magic, when will I ever learn, let the watercolour to do the work! Frustrating, but at the same time I learned a lot. Trying to do as many portraits as I can right now, I’m missing something, they are not like their owners. I hope by doing many, something will click and a light bulb will turn on.

Francis Bacon 23 x 30,5 cm, Fabriano fine grain – cold pressed 300g

Portrait practice

Not much to say about this portrait really, a beautiful face that I found while surfing the internet which in turn compelled me to draw. So I say thank you to however you are, you are an inspiration.

Portrait of a young woman by David Meldrum
A4 Portrait.

Portraits are hard to do

This is my second attempt at capturing Egon Schiele’s likeness. I knew shortly after starting that it would not be like him but I continued anyway practising my pencil shading. You may notice that my pencil technique changed a little if you compare the top of the illustration with the bottom. That’s because I watched a YouTube demonstration video on how to shade half way through the portrait (see below).

Egon Schiele – not!