Wednesday, August 6, 2014

From my drawing board this week

This is a coloured pencil drawing of my daughter which I finished, a few days ago.

I usually prefer a blue, beige or grey background so this yellow was a bit of an experiment. To me, it seems to overwhelm the subject with its boldness and the delicate shadows were lost in its midst. For someone who likes finely rendered drawings, it felt a bit too noisy for my style.

Fuzzy photo of drawing of fuzzy photo of man with fuzzy beard.

This portrait was finished, today.

It was drawn from an old, nineteenth century photograph. The quality of the photo was typical of the era - high contrast and very little detail in between - so I improvised. Luckily, the features were clear enough to allow for a good enough likeness.

As I drew this picture, I became fascinated by the wild beard and clean-shaven chin. I guess, as far as looks go, this was quite conservative 150 years ago but, to a modern, enlightened connoisseur of fashion, it must seem quite crazy and eccentric.

Apparently, nineteenth-century males eagerly awaited their first signs of facial hair. It appears that a fuzzy demeanour was irrefutable proof of one's manhood. Or, perhaps, a means of covering the scars inflicted by those lethal cut-throat razors in one's youth...

Whatever the reason, I think the beard gives this man an abundance of character. He is unsmiling but not humourless, capable but not proud, authoritative yet not arrogant. Despite his imposing facial decorations, I don't think this man seems imposing, at all. The kindly, intelligent eyes just seem a more obvious focal point when framed by a mass of grey and curly locks.


  1. As always, I am stunned by your talent. Yes, I know "stunned" is a rather dramatic word, but it's the one that comes to mind. The drawing of your daughter is... well, I have no words because THEY WILL ALL SOUND DRAMATIC! It might be my computer screen, but the drawing doesn't look yellow to me; it looks as if it's on a background of very soft beige. It looks perfect. Totally. You have such a gift for capturing facial features.

    1. Dear Nancy, I was so pleased to see your comment! I've had quite a long break from art and have been experimenting, trying to remember how to do it so I really appreciated your encouragement. I'm feeling motivated to keep going now :)

  2. Nice to see some new drawings from you :) They're both great, but I love the portrait of your daughter, I actually think the yellow is fabulous, it gives the portrait such an interesting warmth and light.

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Kelly. It was really nice to hear from you and I appreciate your encouragement a lot. It was very motivating to get your feedback.

      I hope you and your family are all well and that your art and crafts are going well, too :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you for your feedback, Melanie. I really appreciate it :)

      BTW, my daughter is called Melanie, too!

  4. I LOVE your artwork!! You are so talented. And don't faces make the best subject matter? I always like art with people in them better than just landscapes or still lifes.

    Your children's faces are to die for!

    1. I was so encouraged by your comment, Laura! Yes, I think faces do make the best subject matter - so much character in the slightest details. I play around with other subject matter in my sketchbooks but my heart has always been in portraits.

      My children have a little Maori in them and it comes out in their features. They are my most favourite subject matter. :)

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Victor, for your encouraging comment.

      God bless you, too :-)


Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Vicky