I was asked to draw one of my favorite types of portraits (Mother and Child), for a first time mom as of one month ago. It was also a first for me in that the photo had much detail, which could tend to look extremely murky, in my opinion, when using graphite. In the end, the recipient was happy, so, I was too.
As a budding artist, I am intrigued by new drawing challenges. I draw portraits from photos provided by customers and sometimes photos may not be the best quality. When I see a photo that has a lot of shadows, is fuzzy, or is otherwise not the best quality I think to myself, “I wonder if I can draw that and correct it in the process?” If it is too blurry, I don’t even try but because I can only draw what I can see, and getting a final drawing that looks like the subject can be done ONLY if I can see the photo details. I could just lighten the photo on the computer but sometimes lightening a photo causes details to vanish. I like the details.
I did this drawing from a photo that was clear but it was a bit dark and had a lot of shadows. The younger girl was also wearing a shirt that was probably dark blue in reality but looked black in the photo. I don’t like drawing black clothes in graphite because it sometimes becomes too overpowering in the final drawing. I learned that the hard way.
I worked to lighten the overall drawing, practice drawing shadows, and adding depth. This is what I ended up with. It turned out better than I thought it would. I was pleased with the final drawing.
This is Suzie. She convinced me that I should officially offer ‘pet’ portraits in addition to ‘people’ portraits. There is something about a drawing coming to life, whether of a person or a pet, that is so exciting. Each pencil stroke, …. or erasure is like a breath of life to the drawing process. Then, in the end … A new creation, on paper.
Each drawing that I complete provides added confirmation that I am an artist at heart. I can literally feel my body relax and my blood pressure lower as I work on drawings and they come to life. I know I have so much more to learn and I know I can be so much better some day. It is a joyous process.
I enjoyed drawing Bella. I remember when Barbara, first got her as a puppy, and how Bella would be curled up on her bed as Barbara and I discussed projects in her office at CareerProGlobal. Good memories!
Much of the joy in creating new ‘graphite’ faces is studying the development; I do this through photos. I take quick iPhone photos of the stages of ‘works in progress’ because it is often easier to see where I need to tweak facial features in a photo. I seriously get some kind of a “drawing high” too when I look back at a slideshow of the photos – crazy, huh?. [What in the world did Picasso do with no iPhone? … ha ha!]
This initial fascination might wear off at some point but for now, I still take a quick photo after every couple hours or so of working on a project. Here is a slideshow of Bill O’Reilly’s progress. It was my 3 or 4th drawing after I started – definitely not the best, I sort of cringe when I look at some of the facial features I drew back then (8 months ago, lol), but it keeps me humble to show the world, just keeping it real. There are only six pictures in this slideshow; sometimes I have up to 20, but this will give you an idea without boring you.
This slideshow of Taylor Swift is sort of fun to scroll through as well.
Thanks for viewing!
I never thought about drawing animals, but when Barbara Adams, President/CEO of CareerPro, Global Inc. (www.careerproglobal.wordpress.com) asked me to draw Lola and Bella, though skeptical at first, like most other opportunities that come my way, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did! I loved drawing them and watching their faces come to life on paper. Lola is the smaller puppy, and Bella, the older dog, passed away in 2013. I guess I will add pet portraits to my ‘repertoire’. 🙂
Those who live in Georgia have surely heard of Tripp Halstead (www.facebook.com/tripphalsteadupdates), the 2-year old little boy who suffered head injuries when while playing in the yard of his daycare a tree that had been weakened during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 lost a limb that fell on him. It is an incredible story and God has really worked a number of miracles for him and his family. Their journey is still being chronicled on the link above.
I was perusing their Facebook page one day and saw the sweetest photo of him and his mom … A perfect new drawing challenge. You will have to see the original photo on their site as I haven’t gotten permission to use it on my site. The finished drawing turned out okay. I was pleased with it at the time. Drawing it made me think at some point I’d like to do a ‘Mother and Child’ series.
After the ‘First Face’, I thought it would be best to try and draw famous people, that way, when I was done I could gauge whether or not I had succeeded based on if others knew who the famous person was. I also selected these particular faces for specific reasons: Meryl Streep’s nose, Magic Johnson’s smile (..and because he was my high school crush, oh yeah!), and Taylor Swift, well, just because she’s Taylor, and i needed to try drawing a young person. Their unique features were a fun challenge. After only a few months into drawing at this point, I think there was some level of success.
This is my very first drawing. I dubbed it: ‘OBAMA – The First Face’. 🙂
The choice reflects no political affiliation but simply what was chosen for me as a first project in March 2013. I post it not because I think it is all that great but because it reminds me how just a few months before I realized I could do this, I was beginning to feel burned out in life and like I had done all I was ever going to do (I’ve done a LOT of things but middle age has a way of making one feel like that).
This drawing changed things. Technically, I look at it now nine months later, and think, ‘Wow, that’s pretty bad – I could do so much better now.’ I know exactly what to do to make it look so much better, but I choose not to modify it because it signifies a turning point in my life and because I need to always remember where I started.
Last year this time, I was thinking about what the year 2013 would bring. The new year has always put me into a contemplative state of mind … I always want to know that I I haven’t wasted minutes of my life. I always want to do memorable, important things. Last year this time I wanted and needed something new to happen. I had no idea this new thing would be the development of a talent. A talent that would lead to the start of this blog and a related Facebook page. See the My Journey tab to see how this all unfolded.
Thank you for visiting and/or following my art journey. I pray it is as much of a blessing to you as it is for me.
The first day of a new year! Just a couple of weeks ago I never envisioned I’d be starting the new year with a new blog! Especially one focused on my artwork.
I am looking forward to all the new, seen, and unseen things to come in 2014!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!