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Ulysses Grant: check

2013 December 28

As Christmas is now past, and the original arrived safely, I can now share this recent project:


I hope you know who this is…

This was a request from my brother. Long story. In any event, his faith in me was such that I felt obligated to make the attempt, though I have not done anything like this in years.

In some small ways, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything quite like this before, at all. Most of what drawing I’ve done in the past decade has been either sketches, or at most relatively “finished” pencil work, almost invariably then completed with ink or else computer drawing tools. Even before that, though, I don’t believe I ever created a large-format (this was approximately 18′ x 24′) portrait, drawn from photo reference, with invented embellishments (inspired by conventions of period illustration).

And I’m positive I’ve never drawn a beard in this much detail before. Believe me, that was a challenge! Getting a convincing representation of tone, shape and texture was almost like stippling. Which I have done. Once.

All in all, I’m rather pleased with what I came up with, especially given that I had not really opened up my fancy imported pencils to create a finished drawing anything like this in… a dozen years at least? They’re the same set of pencils I was using in high school, FWIW.

Meanwhile, “client” is also pleased, and while it wasn’t really what I had in mind, I have crossed off one more item from my agenda for 2013.

2 Responses
  1. December 29, 2013

    For as out of practice as you’ve been, VERY nicely done!

    • Matt permalink
      December 29, 2013

      Thank you! I was mostly pleased with how it turned out. I couldn’t decide if Grant’s face looked right for some time, and eventually left it after some minor revision; I think any further error is probably in basic proportions and I didn’t have it in me to redo that. Otherwise I think everything went surprisingly well. Let’s see where I can go from here in 2014.

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