How to Make a Portrait of Someone You’ve Never Met

  1. Gather your tools: paper, pencil, charcoal, canvas, acrylics, oil paint, or a camera if you prefer.

  2. Look; stare hard and long at the person who’s not there.

  3. Then draw, paint, photograph the space around them: the walls, the armchair they’re not sitting in, the slope of the hill leading to the lake.


    For now… ignore the face that isn’t there.
    For now… ignore the smeared fog on the surface of the water.

  4. Fill the surface, keep filling in the space around the figure who isn’t there, until
    you realise they are below the surface and have been there all along.


15 thoughts on “How to Make a Portrait of Someone You’ve Never Met”

  1. I love this, Constance. I have just started taking drawing classes and have been drawing portraits for the first time. Your idea of drawing the surroundings of the model below the surface is excellent. I will try that for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your visits to Soul’s Music. I did a lot of Art in high school, and sort of concentrated on portraits the last two years. Now I do a lot of digital art and your poem reminds me of that. I love playing with color, and while doing so, one day, I found a face in those swirls. It remains a favorite because I found the face by first building the background. Thank you,

    Elizabeth
    https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/2019/04/12/my-secret-garden/

    Liked by 1 person

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