Words by Shaun Smith, images by Shaun Smith and Ian Macbeth.
When I first started to do portraits I was using an ordinary type of pencil. I found the results to be a bit cold and soulless. I found that the similarity between pencil shades and black and white photography narrowed my range for interpretation. I believe that if a drawing looks like a photograph then it defeats the point of drawing in the first place. It may as well be a photograph. I have always admired the Renaissance artist Raphael. Like many artists of his time he made numerous drawings and studies in a type of red chalk. There was something about this colour which attracted me and I started to do portraits using Sanguine Conté. I found the results to be much more satisfactory than my pencil efforts. I was more interested in the soul and personality of my subject. I have gradually developed my own method and technique and I find I learn something new with each portrait. I think there is something very unique and personal about Sanguine work. It is probably my favourite medium to work in.