Last week I had portrait drawings commissioned. There is a nice continuity to it – a little more than a year ago I drew the older child, Isobel, who at the time was a tiny baby. And now I met her again (big change!) together with her little brother Sam. I hope I get to draw or paint them again some time in the future, to keep the record going!

Isobel turned into a very bubbly and bright young lady and baby Sam was sweet. He couldn’t quite decide whether to trust me or not, one minute giving me a lovely big smile and the other – urgently needing the reassurance from the mummy.

One and a half hours for the session, and drawing the two children, I relied on the television to have them slightly more stationary than it would have been without it. My plan worked. As a result, I had about 12 drawings, half of which were rather nice, all done while they watched the “Beauty and the Beast”.

I love drawing young children, and regret that I didn’t do more drawings of my children when they were younger. Now they are too aware of being looked at.

Georgina, mummy of Isobel and Sam, kindly let me use their images for creating original prints. Two of the drawings from the first series, of baby Isobel, are now drypoint prints: “Asleep” and “Flat Out”. I am hoping to have new drypoint prints done in the near future, based on the new sketches of both children.

Dear Georgina, thank you for the beautiful models! I’ll be sending the new prints as soon as they are ready. Souvenirs for the grandparents 🙂

Portrait sketches of baby Isobel. Example of a portrait commission resulting in a portfolio of quick drawings.

[flagallery gid=9 name=”drawings”]

This portrait commission requires a life sitting and takes between 1.5 to 2 hours. Although the term “sitting” is used here rather loosely.

I had several portrait commissions where I had to draw children. Of course, I couldn’t expect them to be sitting absolutely still! Here is a post about one such commission.

Scottish castle.

April 22, 2011

“I’m the king of the castle!
You’re a …” — ahem…

May. I am off to a Scottish castle for a week on a new portrait commission assignment. One of those things which I never anticipated ever doing in my life. Still, one never knows…

Art and Information

March 11, 2011

Portrait of an Artist (Photographer Paul Hewitt. )

Portrait of an Artist. Collage

I have the ability to grasp the likeness. I guess, it is like a musical ear. One can be taught to draw people, as well as play music. Beyond the skill it’s down to some undefinable magic which makes the whole difference.

What makes a portrait so appealing? Is it a thirst to know more about human kind? How people’s inner-selves correspond to their looks? Or the geography of the human face and the diversity of it? The ethnography. The sociology. The history. One comes to realise how much information can be drawn from an appearance, and therefore through a portrait.

I remember reading some literary critic writing on A.S.Pushkin. What struck me most in that article was that Pushkin’s works were very informatively dense. Every word counted. Interesting. Information is the key to a successful art(or any other)work. Information is God. Isn’t the Art itself information? Or everything is?..

A portrait is a good piece of art, if it manages to covey as much information as possible about the sitter. Even better, if it does it without being too literal. The information readable on the level of emotions rather than brain. How does one achieve it?