Drawing People

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of days drawing incessantly. After a year or so of surreptitious photography of strangers, I’ve rediscovered the joys of surreptitious drawing. It’s reminding me that people are people and whilst we’re all different, we’re all the same.

This is important to remember when spending time in the Middle East.

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3 responses to Drawing People

    • gillianholding – Author

      I think very often portraiture is usually the hand and eye of the artist coming through as much as the subject. There is very often a knife edge balance in the subjective/objective response. For example, Renoir’s figures for me are pretty much all a generic blur, and I would have loved to have seen some of his sitters in real life! I am very conscious of what my ‘style’ left to its own devices is, and it really doesn’t seem to have changed too much in 30 years or so; it’s all too clearly there when I draw figures from imagination.

      The best examples of this subjective/objective wavering I have seen in recent years were in a Van Dyck exhibition in Paris. A series of madonnas were so clearly the hand and eye of Van Dyck, and were very much his personal account of an idealised human form. Yet the portraits of burghers alongside were so startlingly original and different and lifelike, despite the similarity of gestural mark-making and brushwork and use of colour.

      There’s a post in all of this, I think!

  1. Is there another ‘collage’ of portraits in the making? I’ve always admired your facility with quick sketching – you’ve inspired me to sign up for more drawing classes that I’ve otherwise been havering about……

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