In this blog I will take you on my adventures on paper, struggles with materials, the proces of drawing, portraits that were a succes and the ones that were a total disaster.
The last update is on top of this page.
A special friend
How can you call a spider a friend? Hey, it''s not my friend. I freak out even if spiders are very small. This one is a 'friend' of my friend. She lives in Australia and makes photos of insects and spiders.
This little spider always greats her when she opens the backdoor to the garden. As if it would say: "Hello! Good morning. Nice to see you again." With all it's eyes...
It's not that I follow these things but it all happenend so fast after eachother.
Krefeld Zoo in Germany.
The photo I saw at a friend was this one from Charly. He did not make it... So this is an ode to him.
Yes, those forests going up in flames and among the heat people fighting for their live and animals trying to flee. The news flashes, pictures and videos from Australia burning. I think everybody has a few images burned in their memory. After four days of continues drawing I placed this portrait on social media. People from around the world saw this portrait and were amazed by it.
If you have interest in buying this portrait, it is still available. All the money goes to the Koala foundation. Thank you.
It’s not a very beautiful dog. But it is very sweet! If you come across one you can hear them breath. It’s a little pug. But even if it is a dog that probably is not to everybody’s liking, those eyes!
On this portrait you can see the photographer in the eyes of the little animal. O yes… I love to draw eyes so could not resist these ones.
Sometimes you come across an animal you never saw before or knew it existed. Insects, fish but also bigger animals like this saiga antelope. This smaller antelope lives in small herds in the south of Russia. Territory loss, hunting and illegal poaching brought it almost to extinction.
Once there were huge herds that migrated from the east of Mongolia to the west of Russia. As the reindeer still do today on the taiga or the wildebeest on the continent of Africa or the bison in the US.
I just had to draw this portrait.
I did not say this, it was a comment on Twitter. But... this person was right! I started to draw this mandril. When I got to a finish on the darker part of his hair, I looked at the photo and thought: ‘O my, this is never going to end! There is still the outside layer.
I really had to push myself to finish it but it was worth all the effort. I am very happy with the result. No, it cannot be sold because of copyright. But it comes with me on expositions.
Water is a challenge. The round shape of a drop of water, the glimmering and reflection of light. How do you keep water fluid on paper?
A lot of pratice!
I started with this ladybog. The first attempt of drawing drops was ok. The second one is the basketball player from Germany. This portrait you can find in my portfolio among the graphite portraits. Specially the sweat on his forhead was a challange. It had to glimmer a bit! Second attempt was a success.
The third one of the girl in the water or in the shower… Amazing. I still cannot believe I drew that myself. You can find the portrait in the graphite section of my portfolio.
Once in a lifetime
It’s halfway 2019 when I take a bold step. I am in search of photos of animals. There are a lot of photos, nice clear and sharp but of course all protected by copyright. So what did I do? I contacted two photographers and... YES! Two positive answers! They gave me permission to draw their photos of wildlife under a few conditions. I can never sell those portraits but I can use them to practice and share on my website and Facebook protected by copyright. That is amazing! The first one I choose was this little orang-utan.
Drawing a portrait
Yes, also this portrait you can find in my portfolio as almost all the portraits shown in this blog. The light in a photo and the sharpness are so important to reach my realistic drawing style. I drew this portrait for friends and they were so happy with the result! I also drew the portrait of the little girl’s brother. Both of them are at age 1 in the portrait.
Or is a horse not a pet? I don’t know. Anyway, I had to draw a horse at least one time. This one was the first.
After a commission I was invited to come along to a riding school and made pictures there of almost every horse in the stable.
From a special group of artists I got compliments on my portrait and tips and that helped me a lot. Of course this was not the last horse I drew. This was fun! And another part of my happiness was… I made the picture and the portrait myself!
Far and away!
This rabbit I found on internet, I had to draw it. I had chosen this picture not only because of the details but also because of the eye. I just fell in love with it. Once it was done a friend asked if he could have it for charity. ‘Yes ofcourse!’
The portrait flew to Canada!
It has been auctioned for charity there.
Colored portraits take a lot of time to draw due to the many layers I draw to create the perfect depth. Graphite is a lot faster but not easier. It has a lot of black, grey and white shades.
I got better in the detailed work and got to a point that I started to make work for other people then myself. Wiegel here, a young labrador at that time, I gave away to a friend. A few weeks after, I got my first commission from that friend!
The little things matter. I looked better at my photos and brought more details in the portraits. Everything needed to be perfect. On internet I found ways to create more layers of colored pencils and could make more depth with it.
Through my search on internet I came in contact with the owner of Franklin. He was still a young pup here. Today he is an adult and a beautiful Germen shepherd with lots of color in his fur.
Internet and copyright
You can find a lot of photos on internet. There are different sites, groups or servers that will show you clear and sharp photos. But be warned. So called copyright free is not always free. Photos shared on internet go everywhere. People will use anything, everywhere, even if it’s not their own making but still put their name on it. It’s called steeling, yes.
When I found the photo of this little girl, I first tracked down the photographer. She was really surprised and pleased with the end result of the portrait!
I really tried everything. My head was full of ideas and I had to try it all! More unique, more beautiful, bigger size, smaller, more color. Black on white paper, white on black paper. My drawing fever and fantasy took me everywhere. And not everything was a success but I had to try. Just to see if I could do it.
When I searched the internet and also tried to find what I really like in making all these portraits, I drew a special portrait. Find the pictures below. Would you like to meet these wonderfull dogs? Go here and join sheperd Lex in the fields!
To learn, to try and a lot of practice
Ok, I got positive comments on my portrait of Morgan Freeman. But I wanted more. I want the portrait to look more real, more realistic. That will take a lot of practice and also a lot of research on how other artists do what they do! How do they overcome their problems and struggles with material or drawing shadows. I searched the internet and found more artists but now with video’s, explaining techniques and materials. I found artist groups online where I could ask questions and share experiences.
My portraits got more depth and after Morgen I started to make more portraits of people. This one I call Imani and is the last one I ever drew in color. I only draw people in graphite now.
First portrait and second animal portrait
My first portrait. Why Morgan? First of all, it is a good actor but the most important is: making portraits of people with a colured skin is great! And Morgan has ‘a good head’ to draw. He is a bit older and his skin is not so smooth anymore. It brings life in a portrait.
The second animal. Why the second? Well... the first one does not exist anymore. The first drawing was a total disaster and I do not want to see it ever again. But Aniamsls do take a special place in my life. I will draw more animals. This feels good.
I am like a sponge. I surf the internet to find whatever I can find on art and other artists. How do they work? What materials do they use and how do they sell their work?
If I could earn enough to just pay for the materials I use, I would be happy. Unfortunately I discover that the path I have chosen, is a very long one. And I cannot help myself... the work they make is so much better then what I make myself. Should I go on?
I remember a friend telling me: “Art is what somebody likes. And everybody has different taste.”
Ramona Fine Art
I am an artist now? A proffesional? It is definitely not the way I feel! I did some research and found a lot of artists from all over the world. They do so much better then me! I lose all hope. Is this really what i want to do? Do I have any chance to earn something with this? Together with my huasband we diceded to give it one year.
It's nuts. I keep drawing, I try a lot of things on paper. After about three months of tryng out diffrent paper, colored pencils, graphite pencils and erasers something begins to stir. Could ths be more then just trying? More then a hobby? Could I at least earn my materials back?
Ramona Fine Art.
This is the name. But... now what?
The search for making this more then a hobby gets serious now.
Drawing goes well. The A4 sizes block of paper is filled up in no time. but with more passion, much more subjects . A hand, trying out shadow, a still life and also animals and tattoo designs. As a little child in a candy store, I go through my head full of ideas. I even get more excied because my husband has a head full of ideas too and joins me in my search for new drawings to make. This is wonderfull!
It was going fast!
The drawing started. Fantasy, little simple thing. I just looked around and everything was put on paper. From ballet shoes to an apple. The sketchbook, also because I had nothing to do, was filled in a week. Ok, again to the store for more supplies. This time on an A4 sizes block of paper and a bit more pencils plus an eraser. You can just wipe out your mistakes with an eraser! It had to become more beautiful then I had made so far.
It all starts in in 2017!
It's 2017 when there is a big changce in my life as an artist. In other words, I never had a pencil in my hand to seriously maka a drawing with it. Because of an injury, my job at that time is done. I could not lift heavy boxes anymore. I suddenly was without a job and had nothing to do. I had to do something! Sitting around is defenitely not me! I went to an office supply store around the corner and bought myself a pencil and a small sketchbook. I had to try it first.