"In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing." - Vincent Van Gogh
Three years ago I bought a sanguine pencil in a cute little French shop in London (I wish I remembered how it was called!). I have never really used it, because I can’t do it properly… I’m used to harder, graphite pencils, while this is very different. Benedict Cumberbatch in period clothes seemed to me a good subject for a first sanguine drawing.
Nine years ago, my mother asked me to copy one of her photos. She also asked me to draw her nose smaller than it actually was (and is!), because she hates it. It’s just a silly obsession, of course. I think she looked gorgeous. By the way, I tried to please her and I ended up hating that first drawing. I’ve never found the time to start all over and do another one, until this week.
The lesson I have learned is: never change a face’s features and proportions just because your mother asks you to.
Drawing people with fascinating noses is always a challenge. Stephen’s nose is a work of art. It’s like an apostrophe in the middle of his blue blue eyes. Nothing on his face is symmetric, and that’s what makes it wonderful.