I was asked in the comments last night to comment on the handling of the halftones in this head by Anders Zorn.
I will do that briefly. I am a landscape painter, and although I was trained traditionally I am off of my ground here. I will do what I can.
The important thing to note is that the halftones are all subordinated to the larger field of the lights. amateur drawing exaggerates the halftones giving a dirty look to the lights. all of the halftones must be higher in key that anything in the shadows. ( I know I keep harping on this, but it is crucial).
The plane changes, i.e. the swellings and recessions of the forms ARE represented, but they are soft pedaled. Compared to the contrast between the light and the shadow they are minimal. The best word to describe halftones done well is delicacy. It s easy to overdo these transitions.
If you look at the forms about the eye and nose, the structures are clearly expressed, but they are done so in a quiet and non assertive way. They are part of the lights and they are subtle. The tendency of the tyro draftsman is to look at the halftones only in relation ton each other and to over represent them. The halftones should be compared to the entirety of the head rather than to one another.This subordination to the larger form is key to understanding the proper role of the halftones.
Even though sometimes the halftones conceal the delineation between the light and the shadow, in the head above, Zorn always shows that he knows where that transition takes place. The essential idea is that these transitions should always be "clean" Although in nature the transition may be mushy, in your drawing it is important that they always appear well understood. More tomorrow after some much needed sleep. I am traveling again. You who read this blog would be shocked if you knew the condition I am in when I write it sometimes . I post every day, no matter what that day has been like. Today is an example of functioning beyond the point of exhaustion.
I have a few spaces left in the three day workshop to be held in Charleston, South Carolina. It will be fun to meet those of you who read this blog from the low country. As usual the workshop is open to all levels of experience and will run from Saturday, December 11 until Monday the 13th. I will teach outside and will demonstrate in the morning and then run from easel to easel teaching for the afternoon. I can save you years of screwing around learning to paint outside.
Here is the link to sign up. Class size is limited to 10 and given the short notice on this one might be very small indeed. People are starting to sign up, so reserve your spot.