I recently came across an image of a Philippine woman that left no doubt her life was difficult in ways I couldn’t possibly imagine.
Dignity (12×9) a charcoal portrait, was a challenge for me to draw – I felt every line, the power of the pin that held the neck of her top closed, and it’s tough to draw a woman who is missing her teeth. I wondered if she was walking with her head down because it pained her to look into others’ eyes – I don’t know, but the image of her was incredibly sad. As a woman I felt her humility, why had life treated her so harshly.
In my drawing I wanted to bring a different side to this woman than what was shown – I didn’t illustrate her mouth sagging as much as was evident and I brought in the sun’s light from the upper-right beaming down on her one side.
Can a drawing show the dignity that this woman felt or should have felt? I can’t answer that. Yes, this was a difficult drawing . . .
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