Art by Richard A. Smith

by: Richard A. Smith
Sarah Velasco: What materials did you use when you drew this picture?
Richard A. Smith: I use Casson acid-free paper which won't deteriorate over time. They are the simplest tools, really. Black Conte 2B or 3B pencils (Conte, refers to the material used in the lead) sharpened with a mat knife (box cutter). The white chalk is also in pencil form, too. The white erasers commonly found can be used to lift away errors - rather than rubbing which tends to smear and damage the paper. The drawing was done the same afternoon that you graced our auction dinner, to raise much needed funds for the Nisbet Lodge Nursing Home on Pape avenue. In the days prior, I was happy to find you playing a piece on Youtube that had recently won a competition - 2009, I think.
I was able to freeze frame and capture quite a number of stills for future reference. Your particular arm positions, whether full length or with foreshortening, and hand positions, I thought could be a help, later. I wanted to be able to do a portrait of your violin, as I remember, at that time. I am more familiar with human features, than with your wooden friend and her beau. That work, having previously been done, I took the profile from your video that, I felt, had your thoughtful intensity in its frame and spent a quiet hour, or so, reproducing it as a thank you for the gift that I knew you would be that evening.

Sarah Velasco: How many years have you been drawing for, and how did you get into drawing? :
Richard A. Smith: Drawing is something that I enjoyed challenging myself with from a very young age - people and their faces were a fascination even then. I was blessed to have formal training and developed skills in highschool and college. The uniqueness of every face and the lives that quickened their quirks and smirks behind the eyes will never bore me. I didn't need anyone to say anything, and I could enjoy them thoroughly! A particular essence, rules the face and "That's him" or "That's her" of a person can be suggested on paper by minute variations of values (Lights, darks and greys). It has to be Them - No one else - and no less Them than they really are! Why not ask me about Vermeer, Sarah? He is much more interesting. I have recently made a discovery about his "Girl with a Pearl Earring" that is quite amazing.

You can view Rick's commentary here