Facing April


Faces. Portraits I guess is the proper term. I like drawing faces and intertwining patterns or other small aspects into what they are.

I love faces.  Long ago I decided photos and art that I produced probably were not going to be that interesting unless they had a face in them.  So I started drawing faces.

I remember one of the first faces I did.  For some reason I couldn’t get it right, so I left out the nose. She was smoking in the image, so I decided to let the viewer interpret it as they would. I don’t remember what happened to it. Whether it got lost in my attic, is hanging on a wall or has been passed around a few garage sales.  Did I only aspire to be a garage sale artist? Things to ponder.

I’m currently exploring several different styles for these faces.


One is the traditional portrait with an attempt at photo realism once the image is done.  This is a digital drawing, based of an actual photo.  Sort of like tracing, but more like mixing colors within the lines until you get the desired effect.

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The second, is based off my marker drawings.  Taking a face or an image I have randomly taken with my “hidden” camera as I walk the streets of Nairobi and then producing a portrait with a story.  I’ve only managed two of these so far, but hope to get a few more in.  I’m thinking of calling them the “Wananchi abstracts”.

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The third, and one I do often, is again marker drawing, but more abstract.  The faces are not always fully outlined or based off actual people.  It is more of a play between the lines and their shapes and the interaction with patterns.


The last one is the portraits. Very similar in style and feel to the Wanachi abstracts, but focused more on a portrait of a friend or someone who has commissioned the work.