Monday, November 23, 2009
I want to tell you how I decided to draw free portraits from photos on Facebook and show you a few free portraits drawn by me (they are shown below this post)
Being a portrait artist I have to practice in portrait drawing almost non-stop to maintain my professional skills. Since I do not always have a possibility to draw from a model but I need to keep on practicing (even despite lack of free time), I got accustomed to draw portraits from photos. People often question me what it takes to be a professional portrait artist or ask me for tips about how to draw like me. Well, I always emphasize importance of practicing. As you might have read in my previous posts I actually do not have a special art education. I am just an engineer who had to do a lot of technical drawings and other engineering stuff. When I realized that I was good at drawing not only machinery but other things as well I began leaning basic drawing techniques and…yes, I practiced and practiced and practiced…
Of course, I am always happy when people order custom portraits and I have a chance to practice but it happens not that often as I wished to as the majority of orders I receive consists mostly of illustrations and logos. Therefore after having made free and paid portraits for my friends I thought why not to draw portraits of people from different countries. When this thought came into my mind I had already registered my Facebook account. My first objective was to find some people related to style and fashion industry to show them my fashion illustrations (I will tell about my fashion art in my later posts). I must confess that Facebook really alleviates search for desired people. Thus in just a month or so I had made friends with some three hundreds people whose business niche pertains to fashion design. Some of them turned to be very beautiful people. When I browsed their pictures many of them made me want to draw their portraits. Well, I thought why not to create a group on Facebook where I would draw free portraits of group’s members. I decided to name the group: "I will draw your portrait FREE OF CHARGE, friends!". I put the “friends” word as at first I envisaged that I would draw free portraits for my friends who I invited into the group. But I forgot that I was able to invite a few hundreds of people who had become my fans on my Facebook fan page and many of them were not even my friends. And likewise people who come to my page from outside Facebook would also be willing to have a free portrait drawn for them. But I did not want to remove this "friends" word as I wished to make as many friends as possible from all over the world and I accept all friendship requests which are, by the way, advisable to be sent to me since I would need to have access to your page on Facebook to check out which of your photos are appropriate to draw a portrait from.
So I have recently created the group on Facebook which members’ photos I use to draw free portraits from and to practice my portraiture drawing skills. Using this occasion I also started my fund-raising campaign since I have to invest some money into my freelance business and I want to by some professional equipment like a large Wacom Intuos 4 Graphics Tablet. In my group description I described the rules and mentioned that I would be happy if someone was willing to donate. Donations are not mandatory and I do not bug people about them. Actually there is none who made a donation so far…lol. Therefore I decided not to bother myself with this fund-raising idea any more and better focus on portraits drawing. The rules of the group are quite simple. I browse profiles of the members of the group to pick up a random photo to draw a free portrait. I also choose a style of the portrait on my own, hence this is not a custom portrait. I can even draw a caricature if I wish to (yes, free stuff cannot always be what you wished it to be, but at least you and your friends are likely to have a lot of fun). And you can always ask me to remove your portrait from the group if you do not like it to be there for some reason (nobody asked me for the portrait removal so far as everybody seems to love what I am doing). That’s pretty much it. You can also read about my prices for custom portraits made in accordance with client's wishes and ideas in my group description and discussion page.
Alas, I have not much time to draw free portraits since I have some paid and pre-paid illustrations assignments in my schedule. That is the reason why I have managed to draw only a few free portraits for my group so far. But I try to use every free moment to draw portraits. Below are those few portraits I have drawn for my group for this moment. You also have a chance to have your free portrait drawn for you. All you have to do is to join my free portraits drawing group on Facebook and send me a friendship request. And we all will have a lot of fun together.
Here are a few free portraits I have drawn