Last month as I monitored our HFAA Art Show, I did a lot of drawing and sketching. I made doodle monsters for Inktober, and I also worked on this graphite sketch of author Charles Dickens. I’d downloaded a collection of his work to my Kindle, and as so often happens now that I’ve become an artist, I looked at the cover picture and said “I want to draw him.”
Dickens turned out to be a bit of a challenge — all that weird hair and that beard! It was an interesting project, to say the least.
One of my objectives for the drawing was to work on getting my dark values dark enough. As you can see, it was still quite a challenge for me. Usually when I do portraits, I do them on heavy gray paper. This was a spur-of-the-moment decision, though, and all I had with me was very lightweight drawing paper.
His tie is crooked. His hair is a mess. I guess Dickens just wasn’t having a very good day when he sat for this portrait. Still, it was fun to draw him, especially since my little muse — a creative figment of my imagination that brings ideas and inspiration to me — is also named Dickens. My muse isn’t named after Charles Dickens, though. His name comes from the idea of “being a little dickens” — that is, a bit of a playful, affectionate devil who’s always stirring up trouble or making a mess.
Trust me, my Dickens muse looks nothing like Charles Dickens. I’m thankful for that! For what it’s worth, I envision my muse as an elongated ball of fur with webbed feet and a broom in his hands. Hey, somebody’s got to clean up the messes he makes!