Portrait of Robin. Pencil on paper. A very beautiful young woman I have had the pleasure to meet. The interesting thing about this pic aside from the subject is what happened when I went in to clean up the photograph made from my phone. Notice the subtle colors and texture of the paper. Serendipitous Photoshopage to be sure.
This is my third “serious” drawing in a month. I have always been drawn to faces. Woman’s faces to be honest. There was always a reason for that. I usually end up drawing women I find amazingly beautiful and of course girl crushes. The magical essence of a women has captivated me my entire life. SO I draw what I like and love.
What better form of self expression than to draw your dreams. In art school I took a couple years of figure drawing. The body is easy. Hands and feet are always hard to capture without mangling the perception. Faces are in fact the hardest thing to draw. And yes I am going to tell you why.
Our brains are essentially very powerful facial recognition systems. When it comes to subtle, yet significant details no computer can match what the human brain can see in the human face. Our face is the most significant part of our identity between Homo Sapiens. Expressions change in very subtle to very dramatic ways. My computer (brain) is tuned to picking out the softer curves and subtle beauty in women. To this day I am never fully satisfied with what I have drawn. I can immediately see the mistakes when the subject or a picture is available to do a comparison.
Eyes too high or too low in the skull. Lips to hard edged. Nose wrong shape. The list of FAIL goes on. But what is more important is that it is not necessarily the intent to make a perfect copy of the subject. So yes her eyes may be a 32nth of an inch to far apart. Our brains will see this almost immediately if we are familiar with the subject. The work of art is flawed in the very first stroke of the pencil.
Or is it?
As an artist my intent is to capture the beauty of the person or subject. While some artists pride themselves on their amazing technical ability to capture a near photographic duplication of their subject. Realists. I am more than happy to make subtle and often accidental changes. This is interpretation. Sometimes it pays to enhance a feature. I love the eyes so I always make them bigger than reality.
When I complete a drawing to my own satisfaction I have put to paper my own vision of the world passed through my eyes, post processed by my brain and executed by my own hands. Every point of interaction is a point of failure or a point of immeasurable success in creating a work of art that is uniquely mine and mine alone.
I started drawing again a couple weeks ago after about a 15 year hiatus from drawing. Yeah a few stupid sketches here and there but not really trying. I spent 7 years in Art School that my daddy paid for. Why 7 years? Well to be totally honest my daddy paid for me to get really high for about 4.5 of those years and I was in a 5 year design program. I switched majors to ceramics which I adore in the 5th year. I had had enough of my asshole design teachers. they did not like me and I did not like them either. One of them I did anyway.
So yes I have told dad I was a stoner. I am not proud of it. I don’t regret ever trying drugs. Everyone should get really stoned at least once in their life. I do regret how I wasted so much of my dads hard earned money on pot and an extra 2 years in school. And I do regret not sticking with my art for so long. I had been previously distracted by life’s little curve balls. Well a big one but we will leave it at that.
So back to my art. I was a graphic design and advertising geek. I think I have mentioned that before. I realized a couple years after graduating how much I hated advertising. I got out of are pretty much all together not long after that.
Now I find myself longing to re-ignite the fire that kept me going for so long. Art. I love drawing portraits. I am fascinated by faces. Especially women. I am never going to quit my art again. I love to draw, write and play my guitars. I just need to find a way to make a living at it.
In critique: This is not a stellar drawing. It’s practice. I draw my friends from pictures. The picture was at an angle to start with but still her nose is too long. Cheeks a little to big and her mouth is off. In reality Kim is a beautiful woman I adore. I have never actually met her in real life. I really hope I do some day. She has a heart of gold. I find her striking. Long shiny dark hair and beautiful eyes to match her positive attitude.
Kim if you ever read this I promise I will do better next time.