After Dark. (Sketch/Quatrain)

Graphite drawing of Ninõ on vellum.

Sketchbook: Bienfang Bristol Vellum paper

Media: STÆDTLER graphite pencils

Earlier this year, I indicated that the theme of my portrait sketches in 2021 would exude more expressions/emotions with some interludes pending striking inspirations, and my recent study seems to suggest we are on the right track.

Like always, I came across my recent portrait study on Pinterest, all monochromatic, and the wisest option was to approach this drawing using graphite pencils on a vellum surface. What particular piqued my interest in this study was my long-dreaded fear of going too dark in shading and drawing drops of water. I found this crying child or Ninõ (as dubbed by Pedro Luis Raota, the actual photographer, in 1970) encapsulating all I have always feared in drawing; thus, I decided to take on the challenge.

Initially, things went smooth, but I had not even gotten to the teardrops and my 8B pencils were already toast because of the number of dark areas I had to cover; however, I had to improvise with my other pencil grades.

Although likeness suffered a bit, one key takeaway from the drawing was that the bigger the size, the better the details you capture in your portraits, so these enabled shading the teardrops fairly easy.

Overall, I was somewhat pleased with the drawing, if, for anything, its successful completion and I look forward to taking on more expressive portraits before the year runs out.

Lastly, do imbibe this quatrain I wrote as inspired by the drawing, and take it with you as you enjoy your lovely days ahead. Cheers!

Though the dark’s mouth may spew sorrow,

with our limbs caught ‘tween its jaws of pain,

always remember there is a dance tomorrow,

where our teardrops elope with the rain.

Cheemnonso