Detailed portraits

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stanley Donnell Comer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Ben Berns

Abstract: In my portraits, I seek to capture the essence of the image which gives it its distinction. Studying the analogy of my work to that of the masters, I found that much of my preciseness is analogous to that of Eakins. It differs in that I do not seek to eliminate glamour or decoration from my portraits, because my personality seeks expressions of happiness and beauty. From Rembrandt I seek the solidity of forms as they proceed in, out, around and about themselves, but the variations of light and dark receive no special attention in my work. I use three basic pencils, HB, 4B and 6B. Occasionally, I use some of the harder leads such as H, 9H, and 4H. My portraits are of my family, close friends and famous individuals. Most of the portraits are done from photographs taken by me with a professional 35 millimeter camera. The backgrounds are not intended to convey meaning, but to create definite environments for the figures. My interest in portraiture goes back to my early childhood, when I began drawing from class photographs. Then, I was not aware of the flatness of a photograph. Because of the inconvenience and expense of hiring models, I am still forced to use photographs. To compensate for the flatness of photographs, I have done extensive studies of the figure and face, in classes and on my own. During my studies, I have examined and observed the volumes, folds and curves of the human figure. Knowing which way a volume turns, a fold creases, a curve bends and how to make each move in Its Intended direction, is the key to successful drawing. With the help of my professors and through my own efforts, I now understand how to make each form move in its intended direction. Now when I draw from a photograph, I use it only to give me the basic Image, relying on my knowledge of the way a form moves to accentuate form.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1978

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