An Artist Spits Up and Needs a Change of Clothes

Well, I guess spending 3 months on my second portrait wore me out, because I didn’t do any sketching at all for another year. But when I did start again, this portrait only took me about two days (maybe 2 hours a day):

This is K and A (3/2006). I spent one day on each of them, K first so my hand wouldn’t mess up A. I found this easy because their faces were so big. All these portraits are done on the same size (9 x 12) Bristol Board, which despite its name is just a thick paper. I specifically looked for a photo subject with large faces.

I am really happy with this portrait, but I become more aware that my sketches have a definite “grain,” which is more pronounced here because I didn’t labor over it so much, grinding the graphite into the paper with my blending stump as in the previous portraits. So you can see the direction of the shading strokes very clearly, which I think bothers the artists I show this to, but I like it anyway. I think it is kind of neat that the image emerges despite the grain. I think it is an excellent likeness.

It is from a photo from 2005, I believe. The kids wanted to watch the town trucks pick up the last of the leaves. This is always quite a spectacle: in our tiny circle there will be two big dump-trucks, a great big backhoe, and a couple extra guys with leaf blowers or rakes, followed by the street sweeper, just to pick up a couple piles of leaves. The kids wanted to sit at the storm-door so they brought kiddie chairs, but it was cold there so they bundled up together in a blanket and were having a cozy great time.

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