To capture the soul of someone there is no better way to do it than to film them on your phone. A smile, a glance, that moment when you see them relaxed and happy. That is what you want in a portrait!
It's so easy to do.
1. Make sure the subject isn't in harsh, direct light so that their features can be seen. A simple way to do this is to have them sit or stand with a natural light source (a window for example) to the left or right of them.
2. Hold you're phone inline with their head. Don't worry about moving it around, in fact different angles will help.
Most importantly: talk to the subject get them to smile or laugh, to be themselves. Try to avoid the "Portrait stare" which you see in so many portraits.
A few seconds of video can provide over a 100 still images
3. When you have shot the video send it to me and I'll go through and recommend which frame we should use.
You offer us your personal objectives in terms of drawing. So many things you say resonate with me, you've definitely released my inner demons. I feel a lot calmer with my drawings now, even commissions. I'm now waking up at 3am thinking about drawing, not out of panic as before, but eager to begin!!
Drawing at arm's length and working on a fairly vertical canvas. I'm noticing it is easier to "tick in" when farther back from the canvas for sure. I am fond of just "drawing what you see" as you say. I have heard this skill downplayed by academics and I have always scratched my head at this. I think being able to draw what you see well is THE skill to have. I love your program and your portrait drawing
Watching my favorite artist, Tony Swaby, as of late-- and just hearing him describe exactly what drawing has become for me has me all excited. I have literally prayed to become better at drawing and to continue to find this joy and escape in it. I have no doubt I was led to find this Tony as a *specific* answer to a prayer in this particular endeavor of mine.
I think the philosophy that you are putting across is superb.. You are showing people what you do.. And allowing them to do what they do.. Which is great.. I love the fact you're not teaching people to draw like you... I think that's important...