Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Windswept" - A Portrait Drawing in All It's Stages =)

"Windswept"     5" x 5.5"     Graphite on Paper

I started this drawing years ago, back in 2009 while I was taking a drawing class at LMC, the community college in my area. Our teacher had us create 3 finished works every week in our sketchbooks, trying to get us to really get into the habit of drawing, as well as proving to us that the more you draw the better you get. I loved that practice, and honestly I don't know why I haven't kept it up. After all, your drawing skills or lack thereof can be critically important when you're trying to paint things realistically, and like most things, and as I said before, the more you practice the better you get!

With my pain mounting and growing more and more intense each and every day, painting just hasn't quite been in the works for me these last few weeks. I felt a bit better earlier today, but by tonight things had taken a turn for the worse. My pain level is back in the 8-9 range, albeit sporadically, waxing and waning, growing more intense and then loosening up. It's honestly quite terrifying for me and my family, as we just don't want to face another full blown flare right now. I thought I'd be better by June. I thought my pain would go down so quickly as the weather warmed up that I would feel pretty amazing right now, and would be able to live with less intense drugs to ease my pain. But not only are my hopes shattered, I am actually facing what might be the beginning of another miserable flare, and I'm scared. I'm just so scared.

So in an attempt to get my mind off of how much I hurt and how much I fear what is going on in my body and how it's taking such a deep toll on my life and my family, I decided to pick this drawing back up and start making some changes to it in order to make it more realistic. The finished version is the one at the top, and I included two different stages below in order to capture the progression of it from start to finish. The funny thing is that I actually like how it looks in each stage it went through, and I love the fact that even though there's only one original drawing, I can still make prints of the others if I so desire, or if someone wants to purchase one. That's pretty stinkin' awesome

So here's how it looked back in 2009, in a much more simplified style. I was attempting to create a feeling of mystery within this piece, and I just love her piercing eyes, though they are far from perfect. Apparently my skills have increased since then, which is a bit odd since I haven't drawn much in the time between then and now. I guess that painting increases your skills in drawing in the same way that drawing improves your paintings. I never knew it worked like that, but it's pretty remarkable how that works. =)

Although she is flawed, I still like the overall feeling of this piece. Mysterious, filled with longing, and quite intense.

As I went along with my drawing, I wanted to add in more features that make it seem more life-like. All the little subtleties of soft highlights and gentle shadows that make up the smooth surface of a woman's face. Her eyes grew dark in this version somehow, making her a bit too daunting and formidable for my taste, as if she hungers for revenge. Or rather than revenge, perhaps she is filled with sorrow, her eyes cloudy and filled with anguish. She looks as though she is holding back as much as possible, but despite her efforts, she is barely keeping in her tears. Soon they will overflow into great pools of sorrow. I love the open-ended story here. I'm sure you can come up with your own.

I am glad my Ty pointed out how aggressive her eyes appeared to be in this one, so that I could soften them up and try to retain some of the mystery and gentle intensity. I know that's quite the oxymoron, but it works. I saw it immediately after he said it, and had he not pointed it out for me, this one would have been THE final product. I love how Ty is my greatest critic. He's so truthful and sometimes painfully honest, and if I handle his critiques well and use his advise to help me grow as an artist, I always end up with a better piece in the end. Like I've said before on here, sometimes you just need an extra set of eyes to show you what you're missing.

I would love if you could pray for me and my family right now. If this flare ends up REALLY flaring up, I just don't know how we'll all handle it. I suppose we'll get through it one day at a time, but I would love to spare my boys the hurt that they experienced during my last flare when it looked like mommy didn't love them because I was so crippled I couldn't play with them or even hold them because of how my nerve receptors were over-firing whenever anyone touched me, producing screaming pain that left me weeping. Please pray for wisdom for my doctor tomorrow, who I'm hoping to get an urgent appointment with to get a pain relieving shot. It's one of the only methods that actually kicks my pain down enough for me to function. And I would love if you could pray for wisdom for our family too, as we will be struggling to figure everything out if things go south.

God willing, this will pass before it gets any worse. Thank you, my friends, for caring and praying and just all that you do to support me through this. Even just the fact that you are there, listening to me vent and open up my heart to you means more to me than you could possibly imagine. So thank you. Thank you for everything. =)


  1. I can see your pain in her eyes. Wish there were some way I could help.

    1. Thank you Debbie. Looking back, I'm starting to actually like the 2nd one the best, and I too can see my own pain in her eyes. I must have woven that in subconsciously. I like the story behind her picture more. It's more inviting to explore as a viewer, and it seems like there's more going on there than meets the eyes. And thank you for what you said about wishing to help - it honestly helps me just that you even comment - it helps me focus on others more than myself and it gets my mind off of what I'm going through. So thank you sweet Debbie! Your comments are always loved over here! =D

  2. I just read this and it brought me to tears! I don't know you well but your my sister in Christ and I love you and my heart is heavy for you and your family. I hope you are feeling better now. But with the cold weather maybe not? I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


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