Graphite on Paper
In this portrait, the subject’s punk rock nature is portrayed in the deep values of graphite. The harsh overhead lights illuminate the musician and indicated their presence by the highlights on the hair and the intense shading of the sunglasses. It is up to the viewer to determine what the subject is conveying in his music, although the title may provide insight.
The portrait is graphite, primarily using pencils the soft range (4B to 9B). The subject has a variety of interesting textures to render, especially the glasses, microphone and open mouth. The shadows in this part of the portrait required a dark tonal value that underlies the gritty nature of the punk music scene.
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.