variations on a Gabrielle theme

July 12, 2012

I drew blogosphere friend Gabrielle Bryden during her rainy day sabbatical in far away Australia.  While her blog was quiet, I made some little portrait drawings based upon a youthful photo she posted.

Though they were all drawn using the same photo, each one is a little bit different from the others.   These differences that occur, these variations, are what I call “invention.”  Obviously there’s an element of error involved in the variations since if I was just drawing the image directly, every version would look just like the others, and all the versions would be copies of the photo!

Sometimes those kinds of differences trouble artists who are chasing a realistic effect, and they used to bother me too!  But I came to realize that if the drawing is good then the differences from the source don’t matter.  Moreover, all these changes lead to different ways of seeing and understanding the image.

So though there’s one photo I don’t have only one Gabrielle, I have several!  And each is a bit different from the others.

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2 Responses to “variations on a Gabrielle theme”


  1. The top portrait is wonderful but I don’t recognise myself at all – she looks rather Grecian :) The bottom one has captured my expression (synicism, sadness, sardonicism …)


  2. You don’t recognize yourself at all because you aren’t there! But I liked drawing that top one even when I realized it wasn’t going where I thought it should. Different moods — of somebody — but not your portrait in that one …. Sometimes the things take on a life of their own.


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