A Beloved Face


Charcoal sketch just before our 15th wedding anniversary

I took up sketching two years ago, an offshoot of my love for photography. I’m a music teacher by trade, though, and my ability to play the clarinet does not translate to getting the perspective correct on a sheet of paper… at all. Modestly, I’ll admit to being painfully slow and lacking in technique. However, the ability to lock yourself up in a practice room for hours on end, incrementally working towards a musical goal, absolutely transfers to any artistic endeavor.

This portrait is the culmination of a goal I set for myself this summer. I wanted to draw my husband’s face. I did sketch exercises and played with my chalk pastels, watched a dozen tutorials on YouTube to see how artists approach portrait drawing. Nothing compared to laying the medium down on paper, though. Shaping and coaxing lines into those resembling the face I’ve looked upon for almost two decades now was rather daunting… a face I came to realize, as I layered and blended charcoal, I know as I do my own.

Sure, it’s a sentiment that’s tossed about. One would hope you know your significant other’s visage quite well. However, on this occasion, while drawing this portrait of us, I felt as though I truly did… because I had to really look, commit and linger… just like in the beginning when love was new and discovering an exact eye color was cause for intense celebration.



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