Friday, January 12, 2007

Portrait of my grandfather

This is a sketch I did of my grandfather, Alexander Hickey, in August of 1993, when I was 17. He and my grandmother were visiting my family in Maine, and one morning during breakfast (he was eating bacon and eggs, as he did every single morning), Papa asked me if I could draw him.

So I got a sketchbook and a pencil, and right there at the breakfast table, I sketched my grandfather. I had done plenty of life drawing at that point, but this may have been the first time that I drew a person who was just sitting there looking right at me. I drew quickly, since I wasn't sure how long he wanted to sit there. I think it took about 20-30 minutes. I didn't worry about how it would come out. I didn't even think about it. Looking back at this picture 14 years later, I still really like it.

Now that I'm an illustrator, and I spend hours on every picture- researching, sketching, revising, editing, trying to make deadlines, etc., I like to take a break every now and then and draw someone (usually my wife or daughter). It's always good practice to draw from life, and it reminds me that sometimes it helps to just relax and draw, and not worry about how it's going to come out.

But if I were going to edit this one, I'd zoom out and draw the whole scene, bacon and eggs and all.