I’ve been an artist my entire life, but I have never seriously considered drawing or painting people. I did try several times when I was in school, but I would not call those artworks a serious portrait. Ever since I learned about the Society of Figurative Arts, I have been challenging myself with more serious artworks. The very first time I have attended portrait drawing workshop is when I attempted to represent likeness of the model.

I started portrait drawing at workshop with Michael Mentler at TSOFA. At the time, in 2018, I was ecstatic about the results, but now I see lots of things I would still correct. Both of these works have been through critique, and I used pointers from the artist. It is still a great step up from being barely able to draw people.

Materials and Technique

I drew both of these portraits from life model, roughly three hour session with breaks. For this type of drawings, I used willow and compressed charcoal, conte crayons and white pastels on toned paper. I started the drawing with a proportional grid for the main features and then proceeded with shading. I used eraser as a drawing tool rather than deleting tool, and I think this ability to add and subtract is very interesting in drawing. In painting, one would simply add another layer to make it lighter, but here the artist can dig into the layers making them more translucent rather then covering them over.

Overall, I like these drawings, and they are a great milestone in my art journey. In the future, I probably would take time to finish the background around the subject. I thought about correcting this years later, but then I figured, it’s a nice lesson! It’s always great to look back at artworks and see how long is the road behind.

If you’re interested, check out my figure charcoal sketches. Additionally, some of my artworks are available for sale in my art gallery.

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