When I opened the newest Strokes of Genius recently, I saw a drawing that couldn’t have been more fitting for the moment. Just prior to opening the book, I had received a rejection–something that we, as creatives, are bound to encounter at some point. In this case, it was a rejection from a literary agent in regards to a novel that I’m working on (on the side; one of my many hobbies).
The subject of the drawing, La patience de l’amour by René Porter (above) happens to resemble me, and from what I can see, she feels a lot like me at this moment. We “dress” the part, hoping for the best outcome when we present our work. Sometimes the reception is wonderfully supportive and encouraging. And sometimes our art is rejected. We succumb to our emotions, allowing our hair to fall in our eyes, allowing ourselves to be human.
I don’t know the story behind Porter’s drawing, apart from the title. For now, I’m enjoying her manifestation of this very real moment, this admission that it’s okay to not sit up straight and smile 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, though–it won’t be long before I’m on the upswing and celebrating the fact that I’m able to express myself through creative outlets, and that “there’s more than one agent” in the sea. That’s important for us; to remember that our art is unique, and not everyone is going to be as passionate about it as we are. This fact is simply part of the package.
As I looked at La patience de l’amour I also found hope in the fact that so many of the artists featured in Strokes of Genius 6 have done the same as me. They put their work out there and waited for rejection or acceptance to be published. I’m guessing that a good number of them have experienced rejection at some point in their careers, and yet they kept submitting their art. For this, I’m grateful. The resulting compilation of artworks chosen for this book are inspiring in their success, their range of subject matter, and their handling of drawing media.
I’ve included Porter’s description of her process for this drawing below so you can learn more about her technique. Get your copy of Strokes of Genius 6 here for 140 drawings and artist insights about value.
Already on the upswing,
Web extra: La patience de l’amour by René Porter, as featured in Strokes of Genius 6, The Best of Drawing: Value | Lights and Darks
The richness of charcoal makes it an incredibly powerful medium to work with. Its wide range of values creates dimension and can add an element of intense emotion. This enables viewers to experience the piece as if they were there with the model. I drew this from a photograph I shot in my studio at night with only one light source that was above the model. I like to draw on smooth paper with very minimal texture. I am able to maintain a fluid rendering while building up the darker areas with layers of charcoal pencil and stick charcoal. I blend with a soft cloth and pull out the highlights with a kneaded eraser.