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How to Draw a Portrait (DVD) Review by Stephanie D. Scarborough

Chuck R. Vogan
PO Box 103
Weyers Cave, VA 24486

I was "drawn" to this review after reading about the video on the Vogan Studio website:

Learn how to get an exact likeness

Choose your subject
Set the waypoints
Shade in layers

And end up with a work of art!

Moreover, after seeing the masterpieces created by the pencil artist (who is only in his sixth year), I wondered what my artistically gifted children and husband could do with this instruction. Then I started to ponder the possibilities for the more artistically challenged family member, me.

For years I've wanted a realistic rendering of my children in pencil or another artistic medium. My experience with art has always been limited to the enjoyment of others' work. I haven't been able to employ the information and directions that I've read in art manuals. After watching How to Draw a Portrait, I successfully identified my problem: I just haven't been willing to draw what I see. Rather, I draw what I think I see or what I think should be there.

The chapters on the DVD are as follows:

1. Let's Get Started (10 min.)--This chapter helps the student gather materials, set up, and choose a subject.

2. Drawing the Picture (40 min.)--Since all people have the same attributes on their face, just a different placement, Mr. Vogan has the student manage this with (a) the grid, (b) shading, and (c) way points.

3. Finishing Up (7 min.)--This chapter deals with protecting your artwork temporarily while working on the portrait and then permanently protecting with a workable fixative. Also, the use of Photoshop to manage your masterpiece is detailed.

4. You're Done! (2 min.)--This showcases the portfolio of Mr. Vogan

5. Palin drawing (3 min.)--This showcases the 3-hour process of drawing former vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, condensed into a 3-minute video.

6. Credits (1 min.)--This displays the talent and humor of Mr. Vogan, who is the artist and developer of this DVD.

I hope Mr. Vogan will continue the training offered by this art course by adding a workbook or a book for those left-brained thinkers who might now have a chance at art. As it is, I would need to watch the video a number of times and take notes to make this a workable art lesson for some members of my family.

Maybe one day soon I'll get that realistic rendering of my family members--or at the very least, another art project made by the hands of those I treasure and of subject matter that I treasure even more, my husband and my children.

Product review by Stephanie D. Scarborough, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2009