Socrates

Ancient Greeks – Portraits

Continuing the line of Classical Greek philosophers, this is the bust of Socrates. Socrates is one of the founders of western philosophy and despite not having any surviving writings of his, references by others inform us about his valuable work and thoughts. Socrates was teacher of Plato who in turn was teacher of Aristotle (see BUST – 3); all of them very important philosophers of Ancient Greece.

This bust; as previously; is drawn using charcoal and a kneadable eraser. After tone was applied I just used my finger tips to blend where required. Similar technique and steps were followed as previous pieces of this collection (see BUSTS).

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A very rough grid was drawn firstly. To do this I just compared the total length of the bust to its total width (not including the plinth). Doing this helped me define the correct proportions of the main shape of the head. In this case, as the bust is slightly tilted to the left, defining the middle point of the face was not particularly helpful. I trusted my instinct and after measuring the proportion of the forehead compared to the total length of the head I made the first charcoal marks showing Socrates’ eyes and eyebrows. To be as accurate as possible and to take into account the perspective of the “mask” I used a slender needle and plotted on my paper the lines connecting the ends of the two eye brows. In the same step I quickly sketched the outline of the nose too.

Using the same technique (needle to measure proportions of lines and angles caused by perspective) I formed the outline of the head and roughly sketched the hairline. After the basic shape of the philosopher’s face was on my sketch pad, I erased back to the point I was just able to see my previous lines. I then started to define better all lines and make more confident charcoal marks.

…I erased back to the point I was just able to see my previous lines…

When I felt comfortable with the shapes and outlines I had, I moved on to my favourite part…adding tone! First, I added smaller amounts of tone just to define different planes on the man’s face. Forehead, cheeks and chin are probably the ones that will make your drawing stand out immediately. From then on it is a matter of adding detail and showing the shadows and light on the face more accurately.

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Final step after I am happy that the amount of detail I wanted to show is there…is to go back and strengthen the tone and highlights where necessary. I quite enjoy this final process as I believe it makes my drawing more vivid and the additional contrasts capture the eye and attention.

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Drawing Socrates was very enjoyable and helped me understand better how face lines work in perspective when the head is slightly turned to the one side!

I hope you enjoyed reading this! You can see my previous bust drawings here:

DSC_006923 - Αντίγραφο busts mobile

THE ARTIST SAYS…

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“Busts is a collection of charcoal drawings which represents my first steps in the world of life drawing and drawing of human figures and faces in general. In these first drawings I am just trying to put in practice the theory that I read in sketching books or the instructions that our tutor gives during our life drawing classes. Hopefully, as I progress and practice more, the quality of my drawings will improve and more confident lines and powerful tone contrasts will appear.”

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves. Meet the man behind the  scenes. Visit THE ARTIST… 

Love Sketching and Painting

CHROMA

Παρουσίαση2 - Αντίγραφο

Aristotle

Ancient Greek portraits

An Ancient Greek philosopher which is a dominant figure in my home city. Aristotle is one of the most important and famous personalities of Ancient Greece and streets, universities and squares have been named after him in modern Greek cities. Aristotle was born in Stagira (norther Greece) and was a student of Plato in Athens. After his teacher’s death, Aristotle was invited to teach Alexander the Great (previous bust drawing – BUST -2). His teachings are foundation of the modern Western Philosophy and cover many areas as physics, biology, arts, politics and psychology.

The inspiration to draw this bust is now obvious. It was a good exercise for me, getting the proportions of the face  and the shape of head right. I quickly put a small grid on my paper and tried to measure the proportions of the width and length of his face.  First step was to locate the zone of his eyes. That gave me a good reference point to build the rest of his face. I achieved this by defining the forehead’s proportion to the rest of the face.

Once the eyes were roughly in place it was easier to define the position of other features. I started top to to bottom. Firstly, I tried to deal with the nose by making it proportionally right to the forehead. The width of the nose was measured proportionally to its length.

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With the nose roughly sketched I looked at the width and position of the mouth and chin. The width of the lips roughly lines up with the middle of the eyes. The chin literally occurred by sketching the outline of the lips. This areas is easier to draw by adding tone rather than trying to precisely sketch outlines.

A new element for me was the hair. It was a challenging task to decide how to better sketch the hair. I am not sure this is the best way to do it yet but it seemed a bit easier roughly shaping it and then defining it better by adding tone. The same applies to hair on the head and facial hair.

After having on my paper and being satisfied that I don’t want to add any more details (mainly because at this point I am quite tired already) I add some highlights by rubbing out the charcoal or strengthen the tone in some places. This way I increase the contrast and make the drawing a bit more impressive. Still working on this though!

I hope you enjoyed! You can see my previous bust drawing here:

DSC_006923 - Αντίγραφο busts mobile

THE ARTIST SAYS…

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“Busts is a collection of charcoal drawings which represents my first steps in the world of life drawing and drawing of human figures and faces in general. In these first drawings I am just trying to put in practice the theory that I read in sketching books or the instructions that our tutor gives during our life drawing classes. Hopefully, as I progress and practice more, the quality of my drawings will improve and more confident lines and powerful tone contrasts will appear.”

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves. Meet the man behind the  scenes. Visit THE ARTIST… 

Love Sketching and Painting

CHROMA

Παρουσίαση2 - Αντίγραφο

Alexander The Great

Ancient Greeks – Portraits

This is a bust of Alexander The Great! I decided to start drawing this one because it looked a bit simpler and also because it is one of my dad’s favourite historical figures. The main lesson I got from this one is that even if the charcoal produces beautiful contrasts with the white paper…you still need to be careful not to overdo it. I believe I used more charcoal than necessary resulting in a “smudged” tone in some areas! A mistake to be avoided!

You can see that although the final result is quite impressive thanks to the strong contrast between the dark charcoal and white paper, in reality the drawing starts in a very basic format. You must focus on getting the basic proportions correct. This is the first step. Then you can build up adding tone and details. But remember…the most detailed drawing…will just look bad if the basic proportions are not right! Spend some time in the beginning to get that foundation correct!

This ties in brilliantly with my Life Drawing classes. See sketches from the weekly life drawing classes I joined recently here:

LIFE DRAWING

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THE ARTIST…

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“Busts is a collection of charcoal drawings which represents my first steps in the world of life drawing and drawing of human figures and faces in general. In these first drawings I am just trying to put in practice the theory that I read in sketching books or the instructions that our tutor gives during our life drawing classes. Hopefully, as I progress and practice more, the quality of my drawings will be improving with more confident lines and more powerful tone contrasts.”

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves. Meet the man behind the  scenes. Visit THE ARTIST… 

Love Sketching and Painting

CHROMA

Παρουσίαση2 - Αντίγραφο

PAINTING & UNESCO

Painting & UNESCO

Main Hall of Educational Institution

Feeling really proud and honoured as one of my paintings, “Harmonising Aspects of Civilisations”, is permanently displayed in the private educational institution “Fryganiotis“.

This painting was created in 2015 for the opening of the 1st UNESCO Student Symposium in northern Greece which was held in the premises of the private school. Since then it has been displayed permanently in the main hall of the school and has been admired by a large number of visitors, students and members staff every year.

Excerpt from the Symposium’s site:

The Greek World Heritage Sites

“…The aim of the symposium is to motivate students to participate in a constructive dialogue, through which will be presented all aspects of the relationship of young people with the monuments, the problems and challenges of maintenance, use and abuse of the most important monuments of our country….”

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…the painting has been displayed permanently in the main hall of the school and has been admired by a large number of visitors…


Recently, the painting was spotted online as part of the school’s promotional posts on Facebook. The approx 1.0m x 1.2m acrylic painting of Parthenon was the background of an informational post regarding the school’s success in a local Chess Competition.

Promo Fyganiotise
Student’s face blurred to protect privacy

The painting was gifted to the school along with a description of the artistic meaning and thought process during its creation. Read here (original in Greek below):

Painting Title: Harmonising Aspects of Civilisations

In an era when there is no border between civilisations and the cultural influences mix characteristics, customs and traditions in a very fast pace, there are milestones to remind us not only the past but also its versatility to co-exist with the present.

This modern Parthenon, painted with  purposely less detail, stands in the crossing line between the old and the modern underlining the possibility of those two standing together in a unique combination. Main ingredient of this combination is the Greek civilisation itself. On the one hand the classical Greek civilisation in blue with consistent, solid and certain brushstrokes as it would be suitable for the foundation of any structure. On the other hand the modern Greek civilisation, which is founded on the principles of the ancient one, however is the recipient of a storm of influences from other cultures and is in a constant process of modernisation, adaptation and renewal.

The two faces of the Greek civilisation are in a constant dialog through Parthenon, the most famous and emblematic structure of classical Greece, reminding to the observer that the new and the old are mainly tied together rather than clashing.

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28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_oTHE ARTIST…

My warmest regards and thanks to the private school Fryganiotis for appreciating and displaying my art.  For more of my work visit THE ARTIST…  or explore CHROMA.