In this series I'm sharing with you illustrations & paintings from my early days of making art. We might figure out together why my style has changed so much over the years & why I mostly paint abstract these days...
Art lesson by the Romans
When I look at this pencil portrait I am still pretty mad at my art teacher from school. I am maybe 17 years old and super excited to get the assignment to draw this portrait only with pencil. That is totally my thing, now I can FINALLY show my talent, because pencil is what I can do best. So I start: I draw and draw and draw for many hours, I'm totally into it and I'm having so much fun. I always had the feeling that my teacher is not taking me seriously and I really really want to impress him. So right now my time has come to show him what I got. The deadline day has arrived, everyone hands over their work. I have to acknowledge that of my classmates also made a beautiful drawing - so in my humble opinion she and I clearly had the best work. I have to add that this is actually the first time ever that I cared about the art grade that I am getting, because for the first time I am really confident. But man, was I wrong about my art teacher. Not only is he not taken me seriously, he plainly just doesn't like me very much. I couldn't (and still cannot) believe it: My classmate gets an A and I get B+ - What the hell??? That was that. But years later I got the chance for pay back: My younger brother wasn't really interested in arts so I basically did all his work for him. Same teacher. Not the same assignments but similar. And I got my A for another pencil drawing. HA!
Just in case you are wondering what kind of portrait it is: The head is part of the statue "Laocoön and His Sons" or also called the "Laocoön Group". The statue is one of the most famous ancient sculptures and on public display in the Vatican, Rome. The figures are near life-size and the group is a little over 2m in height, showing the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons being strangled by sea serpents. The group has been "the prototypical icon of human agony" in Western art. Their suffering is shown through the contorted expressions of the faces, which are matched by the struggling bodies, especially that of Laocoön himself, with every part of his body straining.