Guitarist on Black Paper

This is a portrait of a friend who is an amazing guitar player. I had trouble with the unlit side of guitar. I might do over using the grid system, because I need to get the guitar right before showing it to my friend.


susantino - I think you are off to a great start. I know when we do a picture of friends, we just want it to be perfect.

I think that maybe you have 2 light sources with the strongest one from the left-hand side of the paper. I think if you take the other light source away and work with the one on the left-hand side you’ll see the edge facing you (the left-hand side of the guitar) would be darker than on the face of the guitar. What might be something you might consider is to draw a little of the strings, a dot & dash along the top and that would make it look like he is moving and shaking and really into playing the guitar I don’t know what that part of the top of the guitar, just follow along like on the edge of the guitar of cut off a sliver and use the hard edge. I see a picture that might be pastels. Maybe a light stroke of white

I think you will be happy to use the grid system. You might want to enlarge the picture and use a bigger grid, it would still have those parts you are not sure of in the same spot.

You are too worried about it being perfect, Step back from it. turn it upside down and then on it on each side You might see that problem area that are giving you a hard time, Keep working on it for a day or so, when you are working on it and between it time you work on it every day.

Lenora André

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I like the planes of the face, and I also love your choice of black paper. The grid system is certainly accurate…

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Very much appreciate your feedback. I am definitely planning to do over, using your suggestions. It is hard for me to share my work in progress, so your advice about stepping back really rings true.

susantino - Please don’t re-draw it, you can make changes to this one. Don’t worry about posting a picture that isn’t quite finished. I thought you were asking for our comments and maybe I should not have been so detailed that made you think you had to redraw it from the beginning. I’m sorry, I wasn’t! I hope we can be friends here. It seems like I am good about making another artist here so much that he had to defend himself. Unfortunately, it got rather nasty on both our sides. He guesses he had the last word in the comments and then sent me a nasty ‘comment’ personally which again I wanted to say something but I didn’t.


IHi Susan. I sent you another post about not redrawing it. Maybe my first email was too long. Lenora

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Lenora, as I said I appreciate your detailed comments and take no offense. I do like to start over if or when I feel I have overworked the paper. I think that feedback is a gift whether positive or critical as long as it is respectfully given. Also, I realize that all art is in a sense a work in progress and all of us are here because we are trying to do better.

Susantino, I’m Jeff. Along with my pursuit of art, I too am a 50-year guitarist. And, I like your guitarist portrait. It speaks to me.
A young guitar player once told Chet Atkins that he had gotten so nervous when he realized that Chet was in his audience. He said, “I’m so sorry, I usually play much better.” Chet looked him in the eye and said, "I thought you played very well. I enjoyed your show. Im not a mind reader so I don’t have any idea what you wanted to play like, but I really enjoyed what I heard.
In short, art is very subjective and is greatly based on an admirer’s personal perspective.
Your “Guitarist” moved me. I believe that is what it’s supposed to do, right? Congrats…

Thanks for your insight. My freehand drawings have major accuracy issues, but when I draw with a grid I tend to lose the spontaneity. On this board, I admire the technical skill of the finished works, but am also charmed by less finished pieces. I guess musicians have similar struggles between technique and “soul.” Some master and transcend the technique so can do both, but that would not be me. As a guitarist, I think you will appreciate that the guitar is a Gretsch White Falcon, so I really want to get it it right.

Oh yes, the Gretsch White Falcon is a great guitar. Best wishes on your work.