I realize, after drawing portraits for decades, that the primary reason I draw is to develop the ability to connect to people on a deeper level.
As I study the faces of my subjects, for hours on end, I can read into expressions and feel moods. Sometimes I even experience struggle. It tells me that the subject is battling something within their lives or within themselves.
I’ve lived in 3 different countries for more than 10 years each and I have been left scratching my head yearning to know who people really are. I moved here from Nigeria where people tend to be emotionally uninhibited. Before that, I lived in England where people don’t seem to let out much. My experience in Los Angeles loosely mimics England.
Children are easier to illustrate because there is less life experience being transmitted through their faces, with adults, this sometimes gets in the way of a smooth experience.
Regardless of what lies beyond the face, I gladly receive the portrait commissions that come my way and I am grateful that I get to create them at all.