Simple Drawings / Complex Emotions

I like to draw on my ipad, especially at night when I am sitting in bed before falling asleep. Most of the time I use my finger but I also use a digital pen on occasion. I use an app called ‘Sketchbook’ from Autodesk.

The goal in all these drawings was to do the most with the least. My focus was to do simple visual drawings that had complex emotional messages.

Here are some of my creations, some with commentary.

The Barbed Wire Boy – 2018


The International Woman Enjoying Not Smiling – 2018

I drew this on the International Women’s Day.  I’ve spent over 40 years photographing women and I have combated the idea that they have to be smiling or somehow they are unhappy. I love having them NOT smiling actually because then I am more likely to get a genuine emotional look from them.
Add to that the refrain women so often hear from men telling them they should smile more. That is simply a way for a man to say his comfort is more important than him understanding who that woman really is.


He Was Very Upset She Was Smarter – 2018


She Scribbled Herself Across the Land Scape – 2018


She Felt More Fraught Than Hot – 2018

This drawing’s title is reflective of something I have seen over the years.  In all my work over the decades drawing and photographing women I have learned that their outward appearance, how they appear to others, often has very little to do with how they feel about themselves.  It isn’t always this way but it isn’t uncommon to find the typical ‘beauty’, admired by all, is filled with doubts and hatred for their looks while the one that passes under the radar and is not seen at all much less as a ‘beauty’ sees herself with confidence and strength.  I liked using the rhyming play of ‘fraught vs hot’ to express that idea.


The guy Who Was Always Shocked – 2018


She Never Knew What Hit Her – 2018

Originally the face extended all the way down to where the chest is now. But as I continued I had trouble making the features do what I wanted and decided to shorten the face and add a body.


She Branded Herself The Smiling Liar – 2018


She Realized Too Late She Wasn’t Ready To Split – 2018


He Felt So Stoopid – 2018


She Wondered What People Thought Of Her – 2018

Much of the look of these drawing are a result of experimentation with various pen settings in the app. In this case I brought all the features of this one pen style to their max settings and started drawing. This was the result.


The Man With The Th ick Brows and Neck – 2018

I don’t know in advance who or what I am going to draw when I do this digital portraits. In this drawing I started with the thick brows and was actually envisioning a woman but as it went further the blockiness of the shapes led me to make her into a him.


The Winging Woman Worried – 2018

Sometimes I just have a fleeting glimpse of a person and later use that glimpse as an inspiration. It isn’t a portrait of anyone in particular but it was inspired by a woman at an airport on my recent trip to California


She Realized She Made A Mistake – 2018

Let me know what you think of these!

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