I believe the ability to capture the likeness of a person in portraiture is the hallmark of a great artist. Since that is something I aspired to, I devoted a period of time developing the skill. I found many tricks, techniques and short cuts, but in the end it came down to patience and an ability to detach from visual preconceptions and see what is really there. Most of my more recent work is more authentic to that goal as it is done by sight without the aids of tracing with a light box or transferring with a grid.

Project description

Some of these portraits are of family and friends. They take anywhere from 6 to 16 hours to complete. I used a variety of media and surfaces. Graphite, colored pencil, chalk, and pastel. I used matt board, drawing paper, and suede. These were all done from photo references (except the one that is obviously from imagination). When I would get to a tricky area, like the hair, I would turn the photo upside down to visually detach from the idea of what hair looks like, and draw the actual shapes. My more recent work is digital, done on an iPad Pro with an Apple pencil in the app Procreate. The references come from the sktchy app.