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Something Special

For this month I've got a piece that is really something special. A very good friend of my family came to me asking about doing a portrait of a dear friend, but she wanted it to also illustrate his faith and she wanted it to be something to give him strength when he looks at it.

A big challenge to say the least, but I came up with three ideas and made some rough sketches. After meeting with her and having a pretty deep discussion, one of the three was chosen and I slowly built it up to get what you see below,

This piece is special on so many levels, one being that this year I've been experimenting with a lot of new mediums and combinations of them and each one always gives me a better insight for my next piece for experience is always a benefit. For this piece I leaned towards traditional pencil techniques, but I also worked in a few other colors as well. The red was layered in with red color pencils and added a  nice bold and powerful feeling to it as does the gradient background that I did with a few layers of graphite powder and I love the effect that I was able to achieve with it. The passage at the bottom was a bit of a last minute touch but also helped tailor it to the receiver.

Another hard part about this was waiting to post it in order to share it with everyone, but I couldn't post it online until it had been given to the person it was intended for. A little more than a week ago it was given as a nice surprise and I hear it was very well recieved and also got a little something to show it.


As I look back at this piece I can honestly say that it was one of the hardest ones I've had to do, it's a portrait of a man that I've never met and had limited photo references of (none of them from that angle) being embraced by J.C., so you know...no pressure at all to make sure they both look like who they're supposed to be. It was definitely a great challenge and an experience that I'll take with me going forward to be a better artist.

Thanks for reading,


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