We all have the innate fear of becoming our parents. When we’re teenagers, we love nothing better than boldly declaring we’ll never be as uncool as our Dad (no, Dad, I never thought you were uncool – that was your son) or wear high-waisted jeans like our Mom (no, Mom, I’m not talking about you). For me, I went around my high school art classes stating I would never draw like my father. I would never, ever draw portraits of women in fine, penciled lines, paying particular attention to the shapes of their eyes and the point of their nose.
No, I would draw the opposite. I would draw animals: tigers, lions, cats, and the occasional owl. But no, I’d never sketch a woman’s face.
That lasted until one day in my college drawing class (long since I’d forgotten my solemn oath) when I stepped back from my easel and realized, with jaw-dropping surprise, that I had not only drawn a woman’s face, but I’d drawn it exactly like my father. If he hadn’t been miles away, I would have guessed he’d swapped drawing pads with me!
(Early college sketch)
Thus, without intending it, (in fact, going so far away from it that I must have circled round again), I had become my father.
That took a bit to settle in and become comfortable with, especially after I called up my dad and he couldn’t stop laughing when he heard the news. After art school though, it became harder to draw portraits of ladies because…well…there weren’t any models besides me in the apartment.
That’s what I want to change in 2013! I’m undertaking a HUGE artistic challenge for the new year. To help me become a better portrait artist, I’ll be drawing one portrait a day for the next 365 days.
Yes, you read that right: 365 portraits.
It’s daunting to say the least but here’s the thing: I need your help!
(A new piece from last week entitled, ‘She Meant the World to Him’.)
I have a few photographs to use already but nowhere near 365. So that’s where you come in. I’d love to draw bloggers, friends, couples, famous historical figures, literary figures, and you! Yep, I want you to send me photos of women (and men and children) to help me compile 365 photos to use as reference. They don’t have to be artsy or professionally shot. So long as they’re not blurry and your dog isn’t sitting on your head, it’s A-OK with me. Just email your photograph(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name so it can have a proper title.
Feel free to spread the word too! The more people who know about this challenge, the better it will be. And obviously, I’ll be posting all of the portraits here and on my Facebook/Twitter so everyone can see them. It wouldn’t be any fun otherwise!
So that’s my big resolution/goal/silly challenge for 2013. Have you set yours? (I’m half crossing my fingers yours is sillier than mine.)