New Drawing and the Beauty of Motherhood.

New Drawing and the Beauty of Motherhood.

I just finished a new drawing last week, a pencil portrait sketch commissioned by a previous client. This drawing was to be given as a gift for his girlfriend, most likely a belated, but very special Mother’s Day gift. It’s an 11 x 14, pencil on paper. I took two different photos and combined them into one drawing. The girl on the bottom wasn’t shown in the original photo of the mother and her younger daughter, so I added that in from another photo. The nice thing about a portrait drawing is that you can combine different photos together into one cohesive image. This is a great image of a beautiful mom with her two smiling children, and it was wonderful to be able to create this unique sketch for my client. With this, I think of Mother’s Day that we just recently celebrated, and how amazing mothers are. All the pain they go through to bring a child into the world, the commitment to nurse and care for that child immediately after, and all the love they pour out into their children’s life day by day is nothing short of heroic. Speaking of heroic, I remember several years ago, when my son was just months old, my wife and I were walking from a restaurant, and she was carrying him and some other stuff, too. (What was I doing? Probably nothing!) She tripped on a divot in the sidewalk and our son went flying out of her arms. Almost like a wide receiver stretching to catch a low pass, my wife adroitly reached out her hand just in...
New Artwork and Building Bridges

New Artwork and Building Bridges

Finally, after three months of intense work, I finished my largest canvas painting ever: a 48″ x 72.” Although I worked on some other projects during the creation of this one, this particular portrait consumed the brunt of my focus–and studio space since the middle of winter. The concept for this portrait painting was about as unique and intriguing as I’ve ever done, and it certainly was a privilege to be able to bring this idea to life for my client. I made contact with him originally through the freelance/ self-employment web service, Thumbtack. Jim, my client, saw the profile I had there, and contacted me asking if I could do a portrait of his family. The concept he wanted was a depiction of his wife when they were in their 20’s back in the 80’s, and and their children–who are now in their 20’s–hanging out in the same time and place. In the background is New York City, where they were originally from, merging into Minneapolis, which is close to where they and their kids now live. This was an idea I just couldn’t pass up. As a freelance artist, I often take commissions that are your typical portrait based off a “polaroid” style snapshot photo, nothing fancy. Although I enjoy all of these projects because I love to capture the beauty in every person, this idea transcended the mundane, and I was thrilled to be able to bring it to life. I have often wondered myself what it would have been like to hang out with my dad, for example, when he was my age. Would we...
More is Not Always Better

More is Not Always Better

As many of my readers know, I just started teaching my very first drawing class at my studio this week. I created a 5-session course to help beginning artists learn skills that will help them create realistic, detailed portraits they can be proud of. Since I normally am a “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” kind of guy, I figured I would do better and create an intricate, elaborate lesson plan with 50-some drawing exercises (a little exaggeration) and that the students could knock them out in about 10-15 minutes. No problem, right? Man, I am glad I only had one student. It took me and and my student way, way longer to do these exercises than I had anticipated. We had 5 exercises planned for the first two-hour session and only got the second one partway done! Time to regroup. Instead of trying to create several mediocre drawings, I am now shooting for the students in my class–well, in this case, one–to create just two really great drawings. And I”ll teach him every trick I know. But so far, my student Tim, who is a professional taxidermist (you need some art skills to paint fish and deer mounts) did a good job on his first portrait attempt, based off a photo of young woman. Here it is in progress, after a little over an hour’s work. Not bad! We start by using the grid method to gain proficiency in drawing what you actually see instead of what you think you see. Did you know Michaelangelo used this method to sketch in the composition for the Sistine Chapel? If it was good enough for...
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