What's wrong with this picture? an experiment in quantifying accuracy in 2D portrait drawing
Traditional portraiture aims to produce a life-like representation of an individual's unique facial features, but there are a number of perceptual factors that may affect how an artist sees and depicts a sitter's facial shapes. The anatomical accuracy of a portrait is predominantly ascertained subjectively, and not through quantitative methods. To see if it was possible to apply the methods of analysis more typically used to study variation in biological forms, the authors produced 30 portrait drawings based on 30 pose photographs, and analysed how the portrait drawings differed from the photographs using three different measures: visual assessment, anthropometric measures, and geometric morphometric analysis. Of the three methods, geometric morphometric analysis was found to be the far better technique to account for patterns of depiction common to one artist, and our study indicates this method may have broad research applicability to the face as it is variously represented across a range of visual media.
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