The challenge of capturing children

Finding simple things to do in these days of staying at home a lot. Drawing and painting has been my #1 go-to, since it’s easily done within your home with just a minimum of space. “Simple” may not be an accurate description, maybe “elemental” is more like it. It feels direct, and the outcome is entirely up to you.

A few months ago, I participated in 30faces30days from sktchy art school. One day we were presented with the face of a baby—a difficult subject! You might think it would be easy, but to keep the lines brief and accurate, to show the sweetness is very difficult, at least for me. “There is no growth without pain” they say; this was pretty tolerable in the pain department, though hopefully enough to learn something.

I got through that one, and it inspired me to try some in oil paint as well.

Above is the baby’s face from sktchy. So droll, the old man look for sure.
A baby with fun hair, this one in oils.
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a graphite portrait

When was the last time I picked up a pencil to draw with??—it might have been about 4 years ago. I’ve been wanting to return to working on the faces project and drawing with graphite just feels fun. My original goal was 500 faces, just because it sounded neat, but is that even possible at this slow pace? Doubtful. This felt difficult, I was not happy with the blending of tones — maybe it was the paper or the pencils, or just how much time had passed. Here is a portrait of a woman I admire.

portrait in pencil

A portrait of a friend’s grandbaby, anonymized to protect the innocent! I still love graphite as a main medium. It’s so malleable that shading is pure fun. Of course, it comes along with it’s smudging capabilities which end up in unwanted places — nothing a coat of paint can’t fix! This will go into the upcoming Pro Arts East Bay Open Studio, June 6&7, and 13&14. http://www.proartsgallery.org/ebos/

The T has a blank in the middle — what should it say?

Baby Armadillo drawing
Baby Armadillo

face 47 • Sharpei

These dogs have such wonderful wrinkles, luscious almost, like a rose in furry form. Since my sketching group has a side project of filling a small drawing book with animals, I thought I’d try a Sharpei. This is not a live sketch since I don’t know any actual Sharpei, so I drew this from a photo. ImageI don’t know if it’s the paper, but the pencils seemed especially unwieldy tonight, and the difference between the 4H and the 2H was more dramatic than usual. Maybe it’s because of the moisture (it’s raining) in the air.

face: 45

The medium was way too small for such a challenging face, at 5×7 inches, and the actual sketch ended up 3.5 x 4 inches. I’d better keep my pencils sharp next time! Buffy Sainte-Marie, probably in the last 7 years…