This is a 20 minute sketch. The reason I chose this pose was mainly for its pleasant angles.
Take the head for instance. The hair itself makes Ii charming shape. The slightly upturned face shows off the fine chin and jaw line. The tones on the face help to define the contour of the cheeks. The angle of the head on the neck is graceful, and the slight tilt of the shoulder helps to enhance this effect.
I lightly sketched out the main shapes and angles shewn below. If this is done lightly, the lines may be rubbed out and drawn again many times if necessary, to ensure getting the right structural basis. Once the "scaffolding" is established, the artist can go on ahead unhampered by the worry as to whether the measurements and pose will be correct.
This next pose is not actually an arranged pose, the lighting happened to be good, and the pose easy and pleasant, so all I had to do was to ask my wife if she felt comfortable enough to allow me to
make a sketch. She quite readily agreed, and I went ahead, mapping it out in the usual way.
When one is keen and has to work quickly more or less, one chooses the briefest lines and tones, and more often than not the drawing becomes more inspired in consequence. Just a little variety occasionally helps to bring out new sidelights in people's character, so why not turn mother into a peasant for 20 minutes or so.
Most ladies have a large handkerchief like a piece of material, and most mothers like to help, when the time comes. In the subject below I liked the way the handkerchief framed the. face. It made an oval effect and the cheek bones, robbed of the softening effect of the hair and its shadows, gave the sitter an unfamiliar slavonic appearance.
As soon as I had made up my mind as to the things I liked about this head, I went all out to express them in my drawing. The folds in the handkerchief and the way it went under the chin all helped to make the portrait interesting.