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April 6, 2009
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James Dean by casparofambrose James Dean by casparofambrose
The reference I used for this picture is a page that my dad ripped out of a book more than a decade ago. He gave it to me years ago because I liked it so much. He had plans to draw it in the past, but he never got to it. I thought it needed to become a drawing at long last. It was begging for it. I must say Jimmy had an incredible connection with the camera. What a great face. By far the best pair of eyes I've ever had the pleasure of drawing. I didn't expect much from this piece, but I was thoroughly gripped by it from start to finish. I suppose that's what makes portraiture so interesting to pursue.

I noticed, sadly, that this does not photograph well in sunlight. Although it delivers much more clarity and detail, the sun makes all my solid blacks give off this awful glare that takes away from the picture. So I photographed it in dim indoor lighting. Even then there's a slight glare on the left - what can you do? XD The WIP shows a good detail shot of the face (albeit unfinished) if you were interested: [link]

I've decided to do a few Old Hollywood portraits. I've noticed they tend to make good portraits. Vivien Leigh is next. (:
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:icondanymckoy84:
Danymckoy84 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2012  Student General Artist
Oh my god , ur so talented ! incredible work !!
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:iconhank1:
hank1 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
You ask "what can you do?" I've read that one can use a matte varnish over a pencil with no harm at all to the work. Don't know, haven't tried it and one might not want to "remove" the gloss from his pencil works anyway. In any case who doesn't know that any online image cannot compare to the original.

Now to further take over--one might say "take away from"--your artwork by saying nothing about it, I offer a story about James Dean.

I've never seen a film with him. So it didn't mean a lot to me when, in an email, a buddy said about this photo [link] "I like the James Dean look." In the photo we'd just finished setting up the fighting hole and someone snapped a picture. Note that the M60 machine gun is pointing right at you. And behind the photographer were, unknown to us at that moment, enemy watching us. Now in this photo [link] you see the M60 and me on the radio. The enemy knows to take out the radio man and the big gun first, so that night most of the fire was directed at the two of us. I was frantic on the radio down behind the rocks and firing overhead my M16 with my other hand, and worried about losing that hand. This is really a very short story about that spooky night and I've taken over your picture for too long as it is. Please forgive me or simply hide my comment. In my defense I'll say that looking at your drawing propels me back to memories 44 years old. For that, and for your nicely rendered drawing, I thank you.
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:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012   Traditional Artist
Pencil glare is something I've learned to live with now, but I may have to look into trying a matte varnish. I worry about a finished drawing smudging sometimes too and I've heard that using a varnish can prevent that.

No need to apologize - I'm flattered that my drawing brought back such powerful memories. Thank you for taking the time to share them.
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:iconhank1:
hank1 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
That first link is here:

[link]
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:icondeboramilano:
DeboraMilano Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
That's tooooooooooooo cute!!! Love it!
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:iconkennan1234:
kennan1234 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Awesome. is it because of the lighting that the pictures are so good? Anyways, awesome reference. I really don't know who this is but I most certainly will find out because of this. This is so very beautiful, the pencil work. Awesome, like I said. :)
Reply
:iconvillalobosdstudios:
VillalobosDStudios Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Kool
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:iconkuroinu1801:
KuroInu1801 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
YES....... JUST YES
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011   Traditional Artist
I'm glad you like it. Thanks for the comment! =D
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:iconkuroinu1801:
KuroInu1801 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Youre welcome!! :-D
Reply
:iconpeaches1215:
peaches1215 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010
I love James Dean, and this is amazing. It looks like a picture.
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2010   Traditional Artist
Thank you very kindly! I'm glad you like it. And thanks for the favorite as well!
Reply
:iconpeaches1215:
peaches1215 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2010
Yup. thank you for the great drawing. :)
Reply
:iconjcapela:
JCapela Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
amazing work :)
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2009   Traditional Artist
Thank you for the kind words!
Reply
:iconplayer-designer:
Player-Designer Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
Beautiful work.
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2009   Traditional Artist
Thank you muchly!
Reply
:iconlayerofthebrick:
LayeroftheBrick Featured By Owner May 22, 2009
Nice work! Everything is very smooth and clean, and you've done well in capturing the life in his eyes.
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner May 26, 2009   Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! Clean and smooth is what I've been working on, so that's great to hear.
Reply
:iconsailorbellariel:
SailorBellariel Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
This is so beautiful! How long did it take you?
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner May 19, 2009   Traditional Artist
Thank you kindly! (: I’d say it took about five or six weeks…working a tiny bit on it every day.
Reply
:iconsailorbellariel:
SailorBellariel Featured By Owner May 21, 2009
Wow, well it shows. It looks fantastic.
Reply
:iconkhinson:
khinson Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This looks amazing! I can't wait to see Vivien Leigh!
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2009   Traditional Artist
Zut alors, thank you so much! Your work is just stunning, so hearing that from you is very flattering. I'm moving quite leisurely on my Vivien portrait, but she's coming along. (:
Reply
:iconhavokmonroe:
HavokMonroe Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Woah! I can't believe how perfect the shading is, especially on the ear. It looks so real! :omfg:

This is an amazing portrait of James Dean :clap:
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2009   Traditional Artist
Wow, thank you so much! =D

That's funny you should say that, because I actually thought the ear was one of the best parts and no one else has said anything about it before you did. XD
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:iconhavokmonroe:
HavokMonroe Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
I'm surprised that no one said that yet! :D
Reply
:iconforheidi:
forheidi Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009
Melissa, this is amazing! Oh, it makes me miss pencils soooo much. I love the shirt especially - and the shading is so soft. Wow. You're drawings look quite like your father's portraits, they're amazing!
Ugh, I am so jealous :pissedoff: hehe, i really wanted to use that... Anyways, I got your letter, working on one for you...
This is so awesome.
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2009   Traditional Artist
Oy, I spent SO much time obsessing over little things on this one. That's the only reason it looks any kind of good. XD It was in no way effortless. I'm totally floored people are comparing it to my dad's work...

Ah, I have nothing else to say other than thank you. O.O I was always pretty jealous of your work myself, so that's extremely flattering for you to say that.

You should do some pencil stuff again!
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:iconforheidi:
forheidi Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009
i need to finish my pencil one for bryon! :no: it's at my house...

it looks great! are you joking? it looks just as great if not better (don't tell him i said that) than your dad's portraits. amazing. how long did this take you? do you work on them everyday? i wish my pencils were anywhere near half as good as the ones you are popping out!

i just finished your letter :XD: i'll be mailing it today or tomorrow. i might have to put up the drawing on the front on DA. it makes me laugh.
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:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009   Traditional Artist
My life goal is to see that one finished. It looked like it was coming along so well! All that insane detail...

I don't know - a month and a half-ish? I tried to work on it every day. You must forget what my dad's portraits look like...I have not even come close to that standard of work yet. I'm not where I want to be, but it's a steady improvement if I keep at it, I guess. At least you're delving into other mediums! I can't do anything but pencil at this point.

Yessss. Post it! But wait until I get the letter, because I want it to be a surprise!
Reply
:iconforheidi:
forheidi Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009
haha, what a life goal...
you've mastered pencil though. next - colored pencil?
naw, you're definitely on the same level as your dad - but you each have your own style.
haha, okay i'll wait to post it.
:eager:
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:icondamaged-wonderland:
Damaged-Wonderland Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009
You finished! =D

This is absolutely amazing, Melissa!
I think a few parts of the hair look kind've statue-esque, but it's amazing!
You've improved a lot then from the first picture your showed me.
=3

I love it. <3
Reply
:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2009   Traditional Artist
Well, thank you, dear. XD I'm flattered.

It's practice, practice, practice.
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:icondamaged-wonderland:
Damaged-Wonderland Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2009
You better be! >:D

xDD

<3
Reply
:iconmichaelmonroe:
michaelmonroe Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009   Traditional Artist
wow amazing drawing of him.. well done
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:iconcasparofambrose:
casparofambrose Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2009   Traditional Artist
Thank you - I'm so glad you like it! (:
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:iconmichaelmonroe:
michaelmonroe Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2009   Traditional Artist
i do your welcome
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