Zoe Update




Zoe is such a great character it was hard to choose which image to draw from.  I captured some really expressive moments that I found inspiring. But as much for my drawing practise and due to my desire to find the geometry of the face and correlate that to the mandala.  I chose the one below.

I have worked out a slight scheme to include all the aspects I want in my portraits.

personality – loose colour

Physical form – structure – flesh form

Soul – mandala

Story – narrative – writing words from interview – donated object

Connection / commonality – infinite geometry – lines


So for Zoe I started by writing all the words from her interview. I did not include the questions, just her answers and I wrote them out on the center of the page in a circular pattern.  Then I free hand drew mandala style pattern.  Zoe did not choose a favourite colour so I trusted my instincts and chose some for her. 

Then using the rough geometry I had drawn on the photo of Zoe, I drew out in black the basis for her face. I really loved doing that. It felt good to find the substance of her face through the thick black lines, that then merged with the chalk to create the flesh of her face.  It felt freer and stronger working on this pic.  I don’t know if it’s because I spend so much time with Zoe, that I felt such freedom working.  I guess her face is familiar. And it gave me the sense of cohesion I was looking for before.

The sketches.   I still struggle with wanting some kind of perfection.  Wondering where the line is…where the fact that I can see ‘errors’ in my drawing doesn’t detract from the essence of Zoe.  How far can I push that…..still need more practise.  Drawing has been out of my art for so long now. I am really enjoying the challenge.

While working on this sketch, I had inspiration about how I would like the finished canvas to look.  Impatient – I have cut and primed some canvas…..


  1. Sunil Vernekar

    Fascinated by your process for your portrait of Zoe, and the resulting work seemed substantive. (I also am glad you have kept the overly critical mind at bay so as to let your work shine through.)

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