Time is limited during the morning, so I take photos before I start drawing portraits, John was the last to sit with me on friday, I started his portrait but he had to leave quite soon after as he gets dropped back to one of the hostels in the church bus.
I later worked on his portrait at home, First I print out a copy of the photo, map out his features then work on detail, shading and all the little unique shapes that make his face John.
i had one request though from Him before I begin he said, ‘You see my eyes are crooked, can you make them straight?’ Sure John no problem!
We had a great chat while I was drawing on the Friday, we found a common delight which is Halva a decadent desert made out of sesame seeds and honey! I found John to be a gentle giant, his face to me seems to record the harsh reality of the environment he lives in but he sits with his shoulders back and a steady gaze. He shared some interesting stories and some strange ones too, but it was a blessing to me to spend time with John and even after at home to draw his face and think about him as being someone’s child once, it’s amazing how much compassion grows when you fix your gaze on someone’s face for a few hours and think about the whole person not just their appearance.
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