Welcome, dear readers, to a new drawing-related post!! Today’s theme will being a bit different from what you have accustomed to – hopefully, a change for the better in the ‘Drawings’ series. You may have thought there are years of practice, constant effort, genuine dedication and native talent, all necessary for reaching a high level, not only as far as drawing is concerned, but actually in every field you would choose. However, these factors differ from one person to another; every artist has his or her personal story and motivation for keeping up with the artwork. Today I chose to share my personal experience and evolution, hoping that you’ll find it useful and encouraging! This article has been highly requested and I’m thankful to all of you for showing interest in my drawings and eagerness to find out more about my own experience in the world of arts.
So, everything began with the first steps… People frequently ask when I started drawing and whether I remember my first ‘artwork’. Honestly, I’ve been drawing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. I think this came instinctively. My mother has talent and I remember always asking her first to reproduce the objects on paper, so I could take the model too. This was happening when I was less that 4 years old… A drawing I particularly remember, because it made a great impression on my family members, was a very colorful dinosaur, when I was 4. My father says it was the way in which I associate the colors that made that drawing stand out… I also remember myself hating the coloring books, because these gave me no possibility of drawing different shapes and subjects. Whatever, these are just childish memories, but for the sake of this article, I decided to finally answer the two questions above. Still, I think that the first attempts are totally irrelevant, because the progress is made with small steps, nothing is born taught and the native talent has absolutely no effects without endless support, dedication and hard work.
Let’s move further: in the primary school, I never considered my drawings as being special, even though my parents, relatives and teachers could notice some talent in them. I was never satisfied with the result of my work. Back then, I used to paint instead of drawing in pencil, and this technique somehow lacked precision (yes, I’ve been passionate about realism and details for a very long time). Now I realize that watercolor technique didn’t suit me at all, but it kept alive my interest in drawing as well as the wish for self-improvement.
In the 3rd grade, I was surprised to have won a national drawing contest (for those who know – ‘Si eu mananc sanatos’). There was one winner chosen per county (in my case, Arges) and the prize was a 7-days trip in Poiana Brasov.
Unfortunately, I don’t have more photos of my drawings from this time. Anyway, I don’t think they are worth seeing. But my skills and perspective on drawing changed dramatically when I started drawing with pencil. I was fascinated by perfection of such drawings, especially by portraits. At first, I used to draw portraits from my imagination, but only when I started using reference photos did I succeed to improve my skills. Drawing is, more or less, a representation of the reality, even the products of our imagination are based on shapes and colors from the world we are surrounded by. That’s why I think the vital step in my drawing evolution was starting getting inspiration from pictures. This way, you become aware of countless details that you may probably have never noticed before: the light, the shading, the textures, all start inspiring you to reproduce them on paper.
The drawings below were among my first portraits, drawn when I was 11-12 years old.
One more aspect to mention: 4th grade – that was when I decided to become an architect. It may sound funny to make such an important decision at such an early age, but it seems that I chose right. I will come back to the reasons for choosing architecture as a career in another article, now, let’s turn back to drawings.
During the secondary school, I was quite busy with schoolwork and didn’t spend so much time and attention on drawing. This was just an occasional hobby, mainly in the holiday time. A major change happened in the 9th grade – then I rediscovered my passion and I also found out that my drawing skills were considerably better – even though I hadn’t done any drawing for months. I think this is the most curious aspect of my evolution. I didn’t have so much practice, still the progress was not late to show up.
You may wonder what motivated me to start drawing again. I believe that sometimes, in order to start working harder for our own improvement, there’s a need for finding a model, a motivation, a proof that it is worth going on and also, that our goals are achievable. We must always be aware that we’ll never be good enough, there may always be people more talented, more experienced, better than us – under no circumstances should we envy them, instead, we should support them, appreciate their work and experience and get inspiration from them. That’s what I did – I started searching for art pieces made in different styles and tried to imagine the techniques, the secret steps behind these achievements. I know there are countless drawing tutorials on YouTube – but I never used to check them out until a few months ago, when I had already defined my own drawing style and techniques. It may have helped me a lot; however, I learned only by observing finished drawings, followed by the ambition and perseverance to create my own ones as good as possible.
Can you believe that the picture above is a pencil drawing? I can’t go on without mentioning the artist that was by far the most inspirational for me: Kelvin Okafor. The masterpiece above belongs to him. Seeing his artworks convinced me that the perfection can be nearly achieved: he has truly the most amazing, perfectly realistic drawings I’ve ever seen, especially portraits. The patience and dedication put into every single detail in those artworks are hardly encountered anywhere else. The words are not enough to describe this unique talent, that’s why I invite you all to check out his blog and the evolution for each drawing displayed there: http://kelvinokaforart.blogspot.ro/
Coming back to my works (which I don’t dare to compare with the ones mentioned above), there is my progress in one year and a half. Eyes are the most expressive and challenging part of a drawing, so I chose them as subject of comparison:
Above: See the evolution for the second eye drawing here.
Below: you can check out the whole portrait and the evolution for the 3rd and 4th photo.
From the beginning of 2012 up to this autumn, portraits were my favorite drawings. As you can see in the picture below, the great majority of the drawing done before September 2013 were pencil portraits in A4 size. Such drawings were easy to work on, not taking too much to complete and they gave me the chance to improve my drawing skills considerably, by discovering new techniques and gaining experience. I used to draw portraits of friends, parents, celebrities. The average time spent on each portrait was 5-6 hours, but it gradually increased when I started improving the drawings and adding more details. Last summer I started drawing with colored pencils. My first drawing of this kind was the portrait of Aishwarya Rai. I also experienced with watercolors after a very long time.
July 2012 was when I made my first architectural drawing: Westminster Palace. My interest in architectural drawings increased a lot since last autumn, maybe because I started taking my preparation for architecture more seriously. I still love drawing portraits, but architectural landscapes even more at the moment.
What are my goals and expectations for the future? Hopefully, I will come up with more and diverse drawings. I hope this blog will become a source of inspiration for everyone interested in arts and architecture. I hope that I will be able to help young talents and aspiring artists with tips and useful information. I hope that my artwork will have a general positive impact and I would love to do exhibitions and enter more art competitions.
I think that sharing details and the evolution of my drawings on this blog represented a great opportunity for me to make my artwork more popular and sometimes I’ve been quite surprised of the positive feedback and appreciative reactions I received. Thank everyone for joining me on my artistic journey and I’ll do my best to improve my work and let you know all the tips and techniques I’ve learned from this experience.
I hope you found this article motivating and I wish everyone good luck on your way to making your talents stand out!