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First Portrait Drawing Of My Son

by Jeannie H.
(Hilliard, OH USA)



One of the things I've always wanted to learn to do was draw. I've never felt like I had any artistic talent and was jealous of those who did.

My kids signed up to take drawing lessons from a local store, and at the end of the class, I listened in on what they were doing. The teacher had suggested to the children that they try using grids, and that really caught my attention.

When I got home, I decided to give it a try myself. I was shocked at how well the portrait turned out for a first timer! I'm so inspired now!

I've since purchased a few drawing books and have learned a lot so far.

Here is a portrait of my son Zach. The art teacher said he would frame it! He said that he wouldn't even make any changes to it. What a compliment!

Note from Kerry:
Hi Jeannie,
Drawing with the aid of a grid is definitely a great encouragement tool!

It's lovely to hear (should I say - see?) the excitement in your voice because drawing definitely does introduce more fun and interest into our lives.

You have produced a fantastic drawing of your son and it's hard to believe you are a first-timer. I agree with the drawing instructor, you should frame it. I am sure Zach will always treasure it. Have you remembered to sign the back and date it?

I'm going to go down memory lane here as I remember when I did my first upside down drawing and how it boosted my confidence showing me that I could actually draw.

Then, when I first used a grid, I was just like you - completely amazed and excited that I could produce a portrait. (You can see a drawing of my granddaughter on that page.)

The beauty of grids is that it teaches us something (imperceptible) and it comes to pass that we don't need grids to continue producing amazing drawings.

Thanks Jeannie, for sharing the start of your drawing experience with us, I will look forward to watching your progress.

Comments for First Portrait Drawing Of My Son

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Nov 10, 2011
by: Michael Betz

This is really very good. I agree on the grids...sometimes it is easier for me to draw freehand from the start. But yes, your art teacher is correct. A grid is an almost indespensible tool for composition and proportions. I myself don't like them either, but I do use them on portraits.

Nov 10, 2011
by: Kerry

I am sorry, I didn't realize I didn't have the proper link to my granddaughter's drawing. It should be fixed now. (I hope!)

Nov 04, 2011
by: Kerry

Hi Jeannie
Yes, I also feel like a cheat when I use grids but I notice how much confidence they give me and it kinda balances out the bad feelings. If you watch some videos from long-established artists, you will realize that a good majority of them still use grids to this day! I was shocked to learn that because I am like you, I don't want to use any crutches to draw what I see in my minds' eye.

Grids are a tool, just like tracing is a tool. We have to find what's right for us and go with that flow.

Always choose your own path and you will always be content.

Nov 04, 2011
by: Jeannie

I think using grids to start out has been very helpful and has given me confidence for SURE. However, at the same time, I kind of feel like it's "cheating". I don't know why I feel that way. The drawing teacher indicated that its simply a tool used to get the scaling or composition right. I'm trying to use the grid to do the basic outlines or sketch, and then remove it to do the rest of the drawing. I'm also trying to do some freehand drawings because it's something that I want to eventually be good at doing. It's definitely much harder though to work without the grid. But challenges only make us better, right? :)

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