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How I Got Started Portrait Drawing + RB Women's Event

Imagine entering a room and seeing buckets overflowing with fresh flowers, ladies eager to listen to your story and share theirs, and a sprawling charcuterie table...sounds pretty cozy right? Right. Thursday night was just this. Simple, cozy and community oriented.

Also HELLO! Welcome to my blog.

Two women sit chatting while the artist draws live portraits in a single line style.
The women chatted and bonded while I was drawing

I graced the stage adorned in fuzzy Reef slippers and favorite Madewell dress, while the women in attendance cycled through my little station. They sat and chatted with old and new friends while I admired the curves and crinkles of their noses, eyelashes and smile lines.

Portrait drawing is like, my ultimate peaceful place.

I first tried the blind contour style in the middle of a creative drought senior year of college. Allison Kunath, my number one artist muse, posted about her journey with them and I jumped in. I remember the precise moment it clicked. I saw the figure appear out of a single line, she was minimal and graceful. It was a defining time.

I remember the precise moment it clicked. I saw the figure appear out of a single line, she was minimal and graceful.

I kept working with dancing figures at first, fiddling with musculature and movement. Then moved to live portraits before campus volunteers. It was a huge hit.

Over the years my technique has ebbed and flowed and settled in to this:

And now sitting to draw a person's likeness is my job! A few beautiful moments I've shared...

A drop dead gorgeous young girl refused to sit for a portrait, she was insecure about her looks. I convinced her finally, and told her a story about drawing kids in India. They would match my locked gaze and marvel at someone finding them worthy of extended eye contact. Once I was finished, instead of taking their portrait and showing it off, they'd grab a friend and pull them over to share the same experience. It was so selfless and beautiful. The girl was enamored and moved by the story, I then revealed her portrait and she broke down in tears. (So did I.)

An older man came back to me later tearfully saying I captured something of his "true essence."

Mother and son/daughter combos. (see below)

Portrait of mother and daughter in a blind contour single line style.
Mother and Daughter

Minimal single line portrait of mother and sons in a minimalist home setting
Mother and sons

& that's a synopsis of my story!

Thank you to North Coast Church RB for having me at your women's event.

Want to book for your next party? xx Emily


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