Every day I will be proud of my creative choices

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Portrait drawings

I met Angel through a local artist friend of mine, she was his niece and was staying with him for a while. When I met her she was 11 and very shy. I was immediately attracted to her big dark eyes, I felt giddy and knew I had to paint her. She was a little a nervous when she came over for a photo shoot., it can be strange for anyone at any age. I asked her to look this way and that way and think about happy thoughts. After a while she really warmed up to the experience and I got some amazing photos of her. When she saw some of the prints I made for her I could tell that she had never seen her self that way. I hope it gave her a little bit of confidence because she is a sweet and beautiful young lady. I did this drawing on Rives paper with pastel and pastel pencil.

This is Angel again, I couldn't resist the way she was looking at the viewer. Her eyes are mesmerizing. She was wearing a light winter coat at the time so I went and got a white scarf for her to play with. Even though you don't see her mouth I like the emotion in her face. This was done on Rives paper with pastel and pastel pencil

Nicki is another niece of an artist friend of mine, Sharon Grubbs. I had the dolls I wanted to paint and draw, I just need a great little girl. I asked around if someone knew of a girl around the right age and Nicki's name came up. I had Sharon bring Nicki over to my home studio for a photo shoot. I never art direct children, it won't help, you just let them do what comes natural. She was a star and I had a great time with her. I loved her hair and wanted to emphasize it. I accentuated her face and the doll leaving her clothes and background simple. That is difficult for me to know home much to leave out. I like it when there is a play on detail against simple areas, that way I let the viewer's eye fill in the spaces.  This was done on Rives paper with pastel and pastel pencil.

Willow is my niece, ( I see a pattern here) I let her play with a scarf also. I believe it's nice to have something move the eye around in the composition. She is 2 in the drawing and probably one of the only times she was sitting still. I did this drawing on regular sketch book paper with pastel pencil. It was frustrating to me because the paper stains easily and didn't allow the pastel to rub like I like. I got through it with a lot of patience. It's good to try all kinds of paper's, you never know when one will click.

This drawing is titled  "Timeless Beauty"  Andrea has the most amazing face. She posed for me regularly for about a year until she got a full time job. I still hired her now and then on the weekends. She is African American / Korean; I could paint or draw her forever, unfortunately she has moved to Texas to follow her bliss. This is another example of leaving as much as possible out of the drawing to let the viewer fill in the spaces.
This was done on Rives paper with pastel and pastel pencil


  1. I always love seeing your work, Susan!!!

  2. very very lovely, how nice you paint!!!

  3. Just Wonder what type of pastel pencils do you use?