Friday, 14 December 2012

Out of Practice

A few weeks ago I received a message from a lovely lady, asking if I could do a drawing of a boy for a nursery, and she also asked if I could send samples of my work that featured boys. My initial reaction? I froze and went blank. Wow. I couldn't even remember the last time I drew a boy! So I rummaged through my files, my portfolio case and my sketchbooks, scattering them everywhere, to find only three (yes, THREE!) among what seemed like an ocean of drawings with girls, women and a few furry animals. It made me questioned my artistic tendencies and if there was even a specific reason why I repeatedly use the more feminine angle rather the masculine one.

So I went and challenged myself. I took on the project and started the next day, determined to deliver some good sketches of boys. But all I could come up with were doodles of sweet little girls with very short haircut. LOL. It was strange to see how awkward I was trying to portray a little boy in the most natural way and finally admitting to myself that I was without a doubt, out of practice. Then after a few more attempts, I was glad to be able to deliver some sketches to fit a boy's nursery. Thankfully with an end result that made the lady (and myself) very, very happy. :)

How about you? Do you have any artistic tendencies you'd like to share? I would love to hear it! :)



  1. I tend to want to draw girls more than boys too. I it's because of our personal styles as artists, certain subjects just render themselves better with the way we move our pencils and brushes. Your boys are wonderfully painted, and the stories that their paintings tell are precious! I'm so glad your client asked you for a boy painting, and the reflective way that you responded to the request.

  2. Hai mbak Amalia...
    Saya juga ga bisa nggambar cowo..jarang banget kalo bukan karena "tugas".Gampang rasanya menngambar perempuan, karena rambutnya, matanya,bajunya bisa dibuat cantik, gemulai.Begitu harus gambar laki2..rasanya unfamiliar banget sama struktur wajah/badannya.hehee...

  3. Oh I love what you came up with, it's just fantastic! I draw women. Drawing a man is really hard for me. However, when it comes to younger children, I can do either for the most part, but I prefer girls. It's probably just that I'm familiar with it, being one and all!

  4. I have had the most peculiar *art-adventures* since chemo. Things I could do without even THINKING before (not that I think that!) were complete mysteries. Collage, gel mediums, varnish....trying to figure what I used when was like a massive single color jigsaw puzzle.
    I used to really paint YEARS ago, and when I sat down with brushes and paint, I remembered how to do that. And please understand, I have not PAINTED for the sake of painting an image in so many years!
    So yes, we do get out of practice with certain aspects of our work. I think it is normal for an artist to gravitate in one direction, then have to backtrack to try and get reacquainted with another.
    Gorgeous work well done!


  5. I'm almost the same, every time I try to draw a male face, it ends up looking like a girl. but then I think children looks feminine when they're young anyway. you did a great job here. I like the boy's curly hair.

    have a great day.

  6. I very seldom paint men. Of the many paintings I have done, I can only remember six. However, I am more inclined to draw them even though they are still a minority. I think it is only natural for a painter or illustrator to relate to his/her own gender because art is frequently filled with emotions and feelings during executions and especially if it is an impression. Your illustrations are beautiful. I think most young boys look androgynous anyway, especially during the Victorian era. It is great to see your new creations.

  7. Amalia you have surpassed yourself! These are so lovely and the one with the candle my most favourite of all your paintings!
    I don't paint boys very often, only for commissions because my paintings tend to represent me and I'm female heehee.
    There are lots of subjects that I wouldn't enjoy but pay me right and I'll change my mind! ;)

  8. Like many I too tend to only draw girls. I honestly don't know how to make my figures masculine besides adding a moustache to them! I'm still pretty new to drawing and painting but I tend to draw them straight on too because turning the head or forget tilting the head and my mind just never balances it out! But I am constantly trying to work it out! Someday I'll figure it out!

  9. I got a commission for a boy's painting for a nusery

  10. Oops that went wrong then I am doing this comment from my I phone. I meant to say I have a commission for a boy's painting and wished you would do it for me. I am feeling stuck. Yours are so wonderful!! Manonx

  11. Well, it apparently didn't take you long to get into the swing of drawing boys. He's wonderful. I love the Chimney sweeper too, well, all of them of course. We all get a little out of practice and tend to draw similar things that we are comfortable with I think. It's good to push yourself to do something different or new though. I expect to see more little boys from you now ;)

  12. wow, I really like the very first picture with the boy on the roof. Perfect colors,seriously! I also like this las one, it turned out very cute:) Honestly, I am terrible at drawing human faces, I like to draw animals instead:) Maybe I should just learn how to draw a nose, I think that's really hard..

  13. I never draw men or boys...I don't know why.... might've been rusty, but what you ultimately created is just so sweet....and perfect :)

  14. Like almost everyone here (above), I also have more of a problem doing men's faces...perhaps it is because we see our own faces so much that the feminine features are deeply imbedded in our memory, whereas, even if we are married or have men around us, we don't look at them daily in the same way we look at ourselves (we look at them with love and not critically, as we tend to look at ourselves). This is my thinking on the matter as to why we tend to draw a female face more easily! Basically, it is just that we are out of practice!! Your boys look sweet and very boy, Amalia!! You are truly a gifted artist!!


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