Monday, January 11, 2010


Have you ever felt like this?

One of the beautiful things about making art is its capacity for self-expression. Sometimes you win a few, sometimes you lose a few, when the work is done. But, if one is lucky, he has a chance to be expressive during the process, and leave a little of himself on the paper or board or canvas.

When I need to unleash a few demons, I like to do a charcoal drawing. In this case, I pulled from my cache of photo reference and found a moody shot of Tasha who happens to be eliciting just the mood in the photograph that I'm feeling.

It's a tension-filled, closed pose, with arms and legs crossing her body. She's looking away from you and not revealing her eyes through the shadow, so you are left with a bit of mystery.

There is an air of vulnerability. Why do all things lead to the mirror and why is it facing you, the viewer?

Tasha is one of my phenomenal models who turns every pose into a work of art.

Even after engaging my instincts and emotions to lay down the artistic marks, I still needed to tap the left side of my brain to go through my checklist of items that lead to good picture-making.

When I'm done, I'm hopefully left with a cool, deep, and emotional creation that no one can take away from me. And, after one of those days when I feel like the world has taken an extra large chunk from my person, to create something of my own and for myself is very satisfying.

Allan Burch is an award-winning illustrator and portrait artist, providing solutions for editorial, book, advertising, and institutional projects.
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