Ink on Paper
In this portrait, the subject stares past the viewer, just over his shoulder. The momentary expression of the subject anticipates an action that the viewer cannot see himself, and one only previewed in the portrait. In this view, one is invited to read the subject’s face and explore the possibilities that exist in the subject’s expression.
The portrait is stippling with ink. Technical pens of various sizes provide texture and depth. Mike pushes the boundaries of what can be accomplished adding limitations to the tools he uses. His also enjoys making his signature part of the portrait and challenges the viewer 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.