Ink on Paper
In this portrait, the subject’s focus is on a scene that the viewer cannot see. It is set in the evening with some light to illuminate the subject’s face. The viewer can see that the subject has been forced into a situation that includes hard choices. The set of the jaw and eyes, however, suggest that the subject has seen this before and, while he knows what needs to be done, he doesn’t enjoy what happens next.
The portrait is line work with ink. Technical pens of various sizes were used in hatching and cross hatching to give the subject illumination in the dark. This portrait shows another method of rendering portraits with the same tools, different limitations. Mike’s signature is part of the portrait and he challenges the view to find it.
Mike Gelhar graduated from UW-Oshkosh in 2000 with a graphic arts degree and a fine arts minor. Mike has returned to portrait drawing in his preferred mediums of graphite pencil and ink, after raising two daughters. He lives in Oshkosh and works as a digitizer in 4imprint’s embroidery department.
Mike’s artistic focus is rendering the emotions of a subject’s face. The challenge of capture a person’s expression and conveying their internal monologue while using a single medium is what drives Mike’s artistic journey. When limited to the tonal values of a single hue, Mike focuses on the subtle differences that shape a face, giving each subject their unique features while providing the viewer insight to what the subject is thinking.
You can find his art on Instagram at @mgelhar_art.