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Portrait from a broken heart

Portrait from a broken heart

Story from Antonio

Hello, thanks for stopping by!

Sorry for the long story, but I promise that there is something interesting at the end ;)

I’m someone who enjoys learning about everything, and art is something I have always loved since as far as I can remember. I don’t have a formal art education, but find myself constantly searching new styles, techniques, and ideas to transfer reality to a paper or canvas. I find art as a great refuge to go to after a hard day at job, as something I enjoy doing in company of others and as a way to convey different points of view or express things that words aren’t capable of.

For the most part I have drawn with pencil, but in the last couple of years I’ve been experimenting with watercolors, which I find as challenging as fun and surprising.

Above all I would say that I want to develop a personal style that is true to myself and easily recognizable by others. I lean towards mixing realistic portraits and figures with abstract or geometric backgrounds, clothes, etc.

I have been pleasantly surprised by what I have seen from Drawing Academy, both from the free lectures and from some youtube videos. I find it pathetic how art technique has been degraded by contemporary and conceptual artists, who I believe most of the time hide their artistic and technical lacks in their charlatanery and empty discourse. I was very pleasantly surprised by the no-nonsense and honest message in the video “How to Self Assess Your Drawing Skills“, and this approach is what I think sets Drawing Academy apart from others, the lack of fear to “get your hands dirty” and do the hard stuff, so that the spectator can decide for himself whether the result is good or not, without having to listen to the artist “explain” the work to them.

When I watched the above mentioned video, about self assessment of my own drawing level, I realized that I have missed many of the steps, and that despite having spent a LOT of time drawing and learning on my own, in some aspects I’m close to level zero. I usually watch other artists and think I can’t learn much from them, but the aforementioned video opened my eyes to how much I still have to learn. I have a lot of ideas that I would like to transfer to paper and share with the world, but I realize that my technique is lacking in some areas.

Honestly, I don’t plan to become a full time artist, I don’t like to have to sell myself or my creations to others and I don’t have nor like social media, etc. I don’t like it when artists, or anyone for that matter, try to convince others that their point of view is the best, or that people should credit them. I’m sure that other participants in this contest can benefit much more than I do from this course, from a professional point of view, etc, because at the end of the day art is not my way to make a living. I won’t be telling anyone that I know about this contest or that they should vote me. If people just happen to find this and vote for it I will be grateful, but I don’t want to coerce anyone. I just wanted to take some time to show some appreciation to you, amazing people at Drawing Academy, for your initiatives and all the knowledge that you give away, by answering these questions and sharing a drawing I did not long ago. It’s very easy to recognize good artists and good values, and I instantly saw them in you.

This drawing is special to me, it’s a portrait of a good friend of mine, with whom I was deeply in love at some point, but she never loved me back, and at some point I learnt that she was with another man. Despite the broken heart I pushed myself to finish the portrait to give it to her at some point. Unfortunately she doesn’t seem interested in meeting me or talking to me anymore, and the portrait has been in a closet of mine for a few months now. The many hours I dedicated to drawing it were hours of introspection into myself and my own inner workings, and I think it gave me some insights about myself. At times I couldn’t help but to find myself communicating with the portrait in ways that I would have liked to be able to do with the real person, but that never happened. I admit that at some point I got a bit obsessed to make the portrait perfect and kept refining it to a point of absurdity, where no noticeable change was happening. I have no doubt that it’s my best drawing ever, and definitely the one I have put the most effort and time into. Now that the portrait is finished I realized that it was the deep emotional implication that I poured into it, as well as a little of shame if I didn’t put my best into a present to someone else, what pushed me to relentlessly keep working on it until I thought it couldn’t be any better within my capabilities.

Despite the sad (for me) story behind the picture, I learned the lesson that true art and inspiration must be fuelled by some feeling, no matter if good or bad, but there must be something intense that needs to be expressed that directs technique and intent in some focused direction and that keeps demotivation away. Otherwise, technique for the sake of technique feels empty and for me was just sketching random stuff. But technique is also necessary, without it, and the years of practice, all the good intentions in the world wouldn’t be enough to convey what you mean into the canvas. If you have read this far, I thank you for your patience, and encourage you all to produce art with the sole intention of giving it away to someone you love, I’m now convinced that that is the true meaning and reason why we should bother at all to learn to paint. Thank you for your time, take care :)

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