Diving deeper into this portrait project, I've noticed a very interesting change that I had not anticipated.
I USED to draw people like this a lot. By 'used to', I mean, in the '90s. It's been a very long time. In the interim, I didn't really thinking about it. My medical illustration career, then my drawing-a-day project (consisting of mainly objects rather than humans), were my artistic focus (we'll ignore the PhD here). I don't think I ever thought "OK. I'm moving AWAY from that work and onto this work because I must." But I definitely felt like "growth" was something to strive for, and, for me, that was not necessarily doing what I had done in undergrad. This was definitely the message I received from a lot of instructors.
I haven't explored carbon dust as a medium since I learned to do it in 2000 (pictured below: my first carbon dust piece - the human hip bone). PS: Why does my sig say 2001? Der. Wrong.
I did one or two small carbon dust drawings as part of my drawing-a-day, but, never people. So, it'd been awhile.
These portraits have their challenges, like all drawings do. The dust fights me, the portrait edges away from looking like its subject... my eyes strain, my head aches.
The difference is how this project is influencing me as a person. As I wile away the hours scribbling and blending, I am slowly feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I've laid-off with a lot of my self-criticisms, for example. I find myself refraining from: "Why the hell do you have to lose everything all the time??" "You forgot to q-tip your ears AGAIN?" "You can't NOT were a cardigan. This shirt fits you weird."
There's this weird calm over that stuff. I'm not almost saying these things... I'm just not saying them. I simply no longer care.
I'm attributing it to my return to a medium and subject that are part (a majority?) of the core of my artisticness.
And, dear lord, it feels GOOD.