Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 1 of 3

The following abstract portraits and faces are part of a series of artworks, consisting of drawings and paintings from 2009. I experienced an extended period of personal sadness and frustration, with art as my outlet. The abstract art was created with a variety of mediums, including pens, ink, paint pens, acrylics, watercolors, markers, oil pastels, and colored pencils. Paper sizes, shapes, and weights vary from artwork to artwork, but the theme of “faces” is consistent.

Albeit these expressions are of my discomfort, I drew strength from many places, including valued attention and support from individuals online around the world.

Thank you for your validation and encouragement of my work, kind comments, and for sharing your inspiring art. I appreciate all that you have provided, I wish for you the best that life has to offer, and good luck with your artistic pursuits!

Also available for viewing:
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 2 of 3
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 3 of 3

Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 1 of 3

Purple 1 - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Purple 1
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
9″x12″

Future - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Future
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
11″x14″

Pink - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Pink
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
8″x13″

Void - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Void
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
11″x14″

Fear - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Fear
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
11″x14″

Sun - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Sun
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
11″x14″

Hair 1 - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Hair 1
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
12″x9″

Black White and Blue - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Black White and Blue
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
11″x14″

Also available for viewing:
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 2 of 3
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 3 of 3

Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 2 of 3

The following abstract portraits and faces are part of a series of artworks, consisting of drawings and paintings from a time of personal sadness and frustration in 2009. Mediums used include pens, ink, paint pens, acrylics, watercolors, markers, oil pastels, colored pencils, and a variety of paper sizes, weights, and shapes.

Also available for viewing:
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 1 of 3
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 3 of 3

Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 2 of 3

Heat - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Heat
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
14″x11″

Organism - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Organism
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
11″x14″

Breath - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Breath
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
14″x22″

Purple 2 - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Purple 2
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
8″x13″

Green 1 - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Green 1
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
11″x14″

Yellow - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Yellow
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
14″x20″

Dud - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Dud
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
11″x14″

Fly - Abstract Portraits and Faces - Sadness and Frustration Series
Fly
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series
9″x12″

Also available for viewing:
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 1 of 3
Abstract Portraits and Faces – Sadness and Frustration Series – Part 3 of 3

Blue Boy | Abstract Drawing of a Boy’s Face

“Blue Boy” is approximately 11″ x 14″, drawn with markers, watercolors, and paint pens on paper. The strokes are swift and gestural, with abstract shapes and lines loosely forming a wide eyed expression on a boy’s face. The accompanying video shows the drawing and painting process in a time lapse format.

Blue Boy | Abstract Drawing of a Boy's Face

I Have a Road Less Traveled in Mind | Drawing of Meditation

I have a road less traveled in mind. Being sensitive to the external, my attention is often focused outside my body. Now I’m diving inside to explore the source of my thoughts, actions, and affect I bring to the outside world.

I Have a Road Less Traveled in Mind | Drawing of a Person Meditating on Thoughts of the Mind

It takes courage for me to watch my own thoughts. They drift in and out when not being acted upon. And it takes a lot of practice for me to be calm and sit with myself in this way. But the benefits are clear.

The calm lingers. I can think with compassion. And I’m aware of my feelings, and can see them for what they are… feelings. And this helps me make good decisions in my life.

I’m not an expert on meditation, but I’m also distinctly aware of a higher wisdom in my mind that defies what I’ve learned in a few short decades of life. It’s a Knowing of how to take care of my body, how to live, express myself, heal, and breath. It’s an awareness I suspect is always there, but rarely gets the focused attention it deserves.

But I’m thankful. Appreciative. And very excited to see where this road less traveled leads!

[I Have a Road Less Traveled in Mind was created for Art Challenge #10: A Road Less Traveled at The Artist Challenge. The drawing is approximately 8″ x 11″, created with watercolors, pens, colored pencils, and paint pens.]

Monster In My Closet | “Behind Closed Doors” Art Challenge

The drawing/painting entitled Monster In My Closet was created for Art Challenge #9: Behind Closed Doors at The Artist Challenge. The artwork is approximately 11″ x 14″ and includes mediums such as watercolors, colored pencils, pens, markers, and paint pens.

Drawing of a Monster In My Closet

Monsters in the closet, or monsters under the bed, are an interesting subject to me. I think monsters represent strong beings that are deeply hurt, insecure, and afraid, but refuse to be broken. Monsters act on fear, they isolate, and lash out in defense even when no attack is present. After all, it’s a tactic I’m sure worked before, when real danger was present.

Approaching a monster invites the biggest baddest scariest monster face one can muster. Which is commonly mixed with a heavy dose of intimidation, screaming, and flailing for good measure.

I try to see them deep down, as a being with old pain and wounds that never healed. If there is no immediate danger, I say “scream to me, monster, and tell me about how much it hurts.” And the next time I see the monster the pain isn’t as deep. Keep crying, monster. And let yourself heal. You’re safe, vulnerable, and seen for who you are, perfect in the moment.

And in time, there is a yawn, and maybe even a smile. 😉

Custom Portrait Drawings | Life Drawing Portraiture

I attended a life drawing session this week, in order to improve my portrait drawing skills. My intention is to create custom portraits for people interested in commissioning me to create artwork for them. And the life drawing sessions are a practice method that helps me take one more step in that direction.

The commissioned custom portraits are slightly abstract and may not look exactly like the subject, but they are unique, honest, and will adventurously challenge you to see yourself or the subject in a new way. My portraits are like a conversation with you. I’ll see you without judgment. And you can keep a record of an artistic interpretation of yourself.

The models in the portraiture below posed for 15 minutes each, so I didn’t get much time to hone in on details and backgrounds, but it was great practice! Mediums include pens, colored pencils, and paint pens.

Check out an example of a completed custom portrait of a woman or some custom portraits of a man.

Custom Portrait Drawing of a Woman

Custom Portrait Drawing of a Woman

Custom Portrait Drawing of a Man

Portraiture - Drawing of a Man

Abstract Portrait Drawing

Custom Portrait Drawing

Sun Flower Crayon Drawing | Coloring Contest

Coloring Contest!! My friend Teya Sparks has proposed the brilliant idea of starting a coloring contest! And I even mentioned to her that I was a young fan of Rainbow Bright and Transformers coloring books! 😉 ’nuff said.

So here is my submission. Keeping with the sunny Spring theme this week I have decided to draw and color a “Sun Flower” with my crayons. The drawing is approximately 8″ x 10″ on card stock paper.

I have a new found respect for the crayon! And the contest is being judged purely on skills with a crayon.

Good luck!

Sun Flower Crayon Drawing

Portrait of a Woman

The following artwork is entitled “Portrait of a Woman”. The slightly abstract and impressionistic drawing is approximately 11″ x 14″ and was created with pens, markers, paint pens, and colored pencils on paper. The portrait was drawn from life, as the woman reclined on a couch. A live subject helps me to capture a unique vibrancy and spirit that emanates from a person.

Interestingly, the woman in this portrait became very ill a few hours after the 20 minute drawing session. I think a certain anxious discomfort was visible before the physical symptoms of the illness were felt by her. It was a 24 hour illness, and she fully recovered.

Portrait of a Woman

The Fool | Abstract Face | Art Challenge #6

Art Challenge #6: “The Fool” gallery is now premiering at The Artist Challenge. My contribution is a colorful abstract drawing of a face that represents some of the emotions behind feeling foolish. Drawn on an 11″ x 14″ piece of paper, layers of expression were built up over time with pens, markers, and paint pens.

Vulnerable feelings of sadness and embarrassment began the drawing, and despite the ultimate attempt at a smile, the reddening of the cheeks and watery eyes add to the complex face of emotions. The fool tries to ignore what’s inside and hide from the outside, stuck in an awkward and chaotic limbo, when honesty may be the truth that sets one free.

The accompanying time lapse drawing video offers insight into the creation of the colorful abstract face and reveals a hidden layer of emotion behind the final expression.

The Fool - Abstract Face Drawing

Art Challenge #5 – Unrequited Love | Abstract Faces Drawings and Paintings

The Artist Challenge is well underway, with new artists joining every day! The project was started by artist Vikki North and I by challenging each other to create artwork based on a particular theme. This is my submission for Art Challenge #5 – Unrequited Love.

The first artwork is my submission, “Face of Unrequited Love 01”. The abstract face drawing/painting is approximately 11″x14″, drawn and painted with pens, markers, colored pencils, and watercolors on paper. The accompanying video shows the drawing and painting process in a time lapse format. The face was initially sketched with pen and markers. Washes of water and watercolor softened the portrait, followed by thick markers, and more watercolor washes, details, and highlights.

Drawing / Painting of a Face of Unrequitted Love 01 | Abstract Portrait of a Man

Pen Drawing of the Eyes of a Broken Heart - Face of Unrequited Love 01, Detail

The second portrait drawing is entitled “Face of Unrequited Love 02”. This abstract face drawing/painting is approximately 9″x12″, drawn and painted with pens, markers, colored pencils, and watercolors on paper. There is an accompanying video that shows the drawing and painting process in a time lapse format. It shows a similar sketching and painting process from start to finish.

Drawing / Painting of a Face of Unrequitted Love 02 | Abstract Portrait of a Man

Sketches of Abstract Faces | Pen and Watercolor

These are sketches of abstract faces in primarily black pens and watercolors. The first drawing is a pen sketch with water wash, approximately 9″x12″ on paper. The old face is an interesting foundation, utilizing the high contrast of black and white to create a striking and kinetic composition. The second drawing of a face, also 9″x12″ on paper, started in a similar style with pen and markers. Layers of black watercolor, marker, and white highlights were gesturally added to accentuate the fluid and wispy atmosphere.

Abstract Face Pen Sketch in Black and White

Abstract Face Sketch with Watercolor and Markers in Black and White

Abstract Drawing of a Face | Determination

This is a 9″x12″ abstract drawing of a face with a determined expression. The character’s face was drawn with pens, paint pens, oil pastels, and markers. The artwork is expressive and colorful, with contrasting warm and cool colors used to set apart the eyes, nose, mouth, and some skin surfaces from the surrounding chaos.

An accompanying video shows how I draw the abstract face in a time lapse format. The initial composition of the face was sketched with pen first, followed by layers of color and highlights.

Abstract Drawing of a Face

More Abstract Faces

These are more drawings of abstract faces. The first drawing is colorful and abstract, and was drawn with pens, markers, colored pencils, and paint pens, and painted with watercolors. The image was drawn spontaneously from imagination. There is also a second drawing of a colorful face, which was created in a similar style. Both drawings are 9″x12″ on card stock paper.

How to Paint and Draw a Face Colorful and Abstract

A colorful abstract painting and drawing of a face

HOPE | Reflections of Hope in Art

Hope is difficult for me to draw or paint. It is even more difficult to write about.

Hope is always in me. I take it for granted, usually, unless things get bad. But things have to get really bad before all I have left is hope.

I think this is due to hope being an emotional state rather than an optimistic point of view reached by conscious logical thought. Hope happens when reason is gone. When life feels so overwhelmingly bad, all I have left is hope… for something better.

Although, I can’t deny when life feels positively good, I feel an undercurrent of hope for stability. “I hope that nothing bad happens!” Hope can work against change when things are good and comfortable. Maybe that reflects the arbitrary nature of emotion.

Each of the drawings and paintings below are reflections of hope. The artworks are approximately 9″x12″ on card stock paper, created with markers, pens, watercolors, paint pens, and acrylic paint. The first piece of art is a Face of Hope at its time of overwhelming need. The second artwork is a Ray of Hope, shining through the darkest hour; a time it’s most clearly visible. And the third drawing is a nod to the American Democratic political party which connected popular culture’s idea of hope to a campaign, in the Smiling Eyes of Hope.

Special Thanks to Martha Marshall for contributing the idea for this 4th Art Challenge! And check out Vikki North’s blog (the originator of these art challenges!) to see her interpretation of HOPE!

~Michael

Abstract Drawing and Painting of the Face of Hope

Abstract Drawing and Painting of a Ray of Hope

Abstract Drawing and Painting of the Smiling Eyes of Hope

Expressive Abstract Drawings and Paintings of Colorful Faces

This is a series of expressive abstract drawings and paintings of colorful faces. The artworks are 9″x12″ and use a variety of colored mediums to achieve the desired look, including Oil Pastels, Paint Pens, Watercolors, Markers, Pens, and Acrylic Paint. They are drawn from memories and intend to convey the essence of a mood or feeling evoked from people or characters. The layers, expressive lines, and abstract compositions help communicate the complexity of imagination, and represent the emotions that arise from a perceived connection to faces.

Expressive Abstract Drawing and Painting of a Colorful Face

Expressive Abstract Drawing and Painting of a Colorful Face

Expressive Abstract Drawing and Painting of a Colorful Face

Abstract Drawings and Paintings of Black and White Faces

These are drawings and paintings of abstract faces. The 9″x12″ artworks use black and white colors from a variety of mediums, including Pens, Paint Pens, Watercolors, Oil Pastels, Markers, and Acrylic Paint. Each artwork has multiple layers of medium which adds depth to the faces. Alternating patterns of light and dark values resemble highlights and shadows. I drew them based on subtleties in the emotions of anger, despondence, frustration, empathy, and a bit of hope.

Expressive Abstract Drawing and Painting of a Black and White Face

Expressive Abstract Drawing and Painting of a Black and White Face

Expressive Abstract Drawing and Painting of a Black and White Face

Impressionistic Drawing of a Human Face | Dreaming Awake

This is a 9″x12″ drawing of a human face created with oil pastels and watercolor. I originally saw a similar face in a dream, but the expression was agitated. Most dreams fade after waking up, but this one didn’t. I couldn’t get the image out of my mind because the face was so vivid, detailed, and there were lingering emotions attached to the piercing stare. So I decided to draw the face and personify what I saw. The process led to some interesting insights about myself.

As I drew I was able to attribute the irritability in the face to events in my life. The more I began to explore my feelings, the further my anxiety dissipated. Simultaneously, the expression on the face lightened as I smeared and smudged the pastel and watercolor around the paper. The entire experience was an interesting exercise in self awareness, and pulling subconscious thoughts to the conscious mind with refreshing results.

People spend roughly a third of their lives sleeping, with a daily transition between the two states of being. In what ways do you relate your dream life to your waking life?

Impressionistic Drawing of a Human Face