Artistic Interpretation #7 / Beyoncé Giselle Knowles

Following hot on the heels of my previous Artistic Interpretation which was based on the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, I started working on Artistic Interpretation #7 which focuses on the Destiny’s Child musician and solo hit-maker, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles.

I wanted to draw Beyoncé as a way of celebrating the heartwarming news that broke on the 1st February that she was expecting twins.

I decided to take my time to draw her because I wanted to make sure I could shade certain areas of the drawing so that her facial features stand out the same as I would want for her hair to stand out.

For me, drawing Beyoncé was quite a challenge, because I referred to the photograph that was taken of her that announced she would headline the Super Bowl on the 3rd February 2013, which was fantastic, given that Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams performed alongside her for the hit record, Bootylicious, with her most recent Super Bowl appearance being at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show that took place last year, when she performed alongside Bruno Mars and Coldplay.

Below is my artistic interpretation of Beyoncé Giselle Knowles.

Artistic Interpretation #7 / Beyoncé Giselle Knowles
Artistic Interpretation #7 / Beyoncé Giselle Knowles

I am pleased with the overall result, as I had made sure to spend time on drawing Beyoncé, given that I wanted to make sure this drawing would not just celebrate Beyoncé as a musician, but that this drawing would celebrate her music career, given that she has been on the music scene for a long time now.

Again, congratulations to both Beyoncé & Jay Z on the pregnancy and may both your twins be blessed with perfect health, love, compassion, care, respect and support. I love you both.

Please feel free to comment below what you thought of my artistic interpretation of Beyoncé. I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

Remembering David Bowie: One Year On / The Thin White Duke. Our Starman. A Music Legend. (1947 – 2016)

As today marks exactly one year since the Thin White Duke, David Bowie, passed away at the age of 69 from liver cancer, I wanted to pay my full respects to the Starman by drawing David Bowie, also because the 8th January 2017 would have marked his 70th Birthday. I also drew David Bowie sporting the famous Aladdin Sane Lightning Bolt as he released his 25th and last ever studio album, Blackstar, on his 69th birthday.

It feels unreal, to think it was a year ago today is surreal yet hard to believe, because never did I think the time would fly so fast. On this day last year, I was told the news early in the morning that he had actually died and I was shocked and devastated, but fast forward to today and you still can’t quite believe that our Starman, the Thin White Duke, had passed away.

He is a music legend who was taken from us too soon, as he had so much more to offer, but his 25th and final studio album, Blackstar, was classed as “…a parting gift,” to his fans, which just goes to show that he not only wanted to go out with a bang, but that he would really prove that his music is timeless, that it will never date and will always be listened to, which is what made David Bowie not just a music legend, but a cultural icon given that he always had the eccentric change of image that would define and inspire many generations.

I drew the lightning bolt below his right eye (appears on the left by how you see it), as the blue and red lightning bolt was featured on the iconic album, Aladdin Sane. Although I haven’t been around long enough to truly appreciate his music, I saw him as an inspiration to me and to us all, because he made it okay for us to be ourselves, and to not care what societies and generations think of us and I will never forget that. Let’s Dance, Life on Mars & Ashes to Ashes always give me goosebumps because it’s not just the Aladdin Sane Lightning Bolt that caught my attention, but his right eye’s pupil was blue, which is what made him the iconic music legend he truly is. Even in death, he will always be remembered as the iconic music legend that made it okay for everyone to accept themselves and to be themselves regardless of who they are.

David Bowie as Aladdin Sane.
David Bowie as Aladdin Sane.

I wanted to say this as a way of paying tribute to David Bowie:

David Bowie. Our Thin White Duke. Our Starman. Thank you for everything. Thank you for giving everyone in this world, including myself, the chance to be ourselves, but most of all, thanks for making this world a better place. You are truly an iconic music legend and you are always missed, but you’ll never be forgotten and you shall always remain in mine and everyone’s hearts forever. David Bowie. Thank you for everything!

Alex Smithson

Hello…It’s Me, Adele. (Artistic Interpretation #5) [Article #400]

I wanted to celebrate this 400th article in style by drawing Adele for my fifth artistic interpretation.

I thought it would be a lovely idea to draw Adele considering the massive global success she has and is thanks to her third studio album, 25, going to Number 1 in almost every single country, including her Hello video receiving well over 1.5 billion views in just under a year.

I can admit, there will be some confusion regarding this drawing, because when I was drawing Adele completely freehand with a photo reference of her looking up, I did notice that I could somewhat see Ruby Wax, and a hint of the musician, P!nk, including a slight hint of Elizabeth Taylor, given the eyelashes.

I wanted to draw just the features of Adele’s face like I did previously with Amy Winehouse, as I wanted to make Adele’s facial features stand out.

Below is my fifth artistic interpretation drawing of Adele in its full glory.

Adele Drawing by Alex Smithson

Overall, I feel I have improved quite a lot since I’ve been developing my drawing skills more, and I feel absolutely pleased with the end result I have achieved from this drawing I have done of Adele.

If you enjoyed this article and loved the drawing, please feel free to submit feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Artistic Interpretation #4: Amy Winehouse (27)

Five years on since her untimely death on the 23rd July 2011, Amy Winehouse, the iconic music legend that made her mark with her unique musical sound, released two of her most iconic albums, which were Frank, and also Back to Black. Her posthumous third studio album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, consisted of some new songs which were previously unreleased, including different versions of certain tracks that we listened to and grew to love, given that the iconic look for Back to Black and Lioness: Hidden Treasures saw Amy Winehouse with the iconic beehive hairstyle, which has since become the biggest trendsetter for all independent women in fashion.

I took the opportunity to draw Amy Winehouse, as I wanted to pay my full respects and pay homage to the iconic music legend as it has been five years since her passing. She was a talented young musician who was gone too soon. I’ve put her age, 27, in brackets, in the article title, as that number is the age she was when she passed away on the 23rd July 2011.

Amy
Amy Winehouse Tribute Drawing

I also wanted to make Amy Winehouse’s memory and music as colourful as possible by using the same drawing to create a tribute montage, showing her life in music from my perspective, but also yours and everyone else’s perspective.

Amy Tribute Montage
Amy Winehouse Drawing Tribute Montage

Amy Winehouse was and always will be the iconic music legend of our time. She will never be forgotten for the everlasting impact she left on the world and will always remain forever in our hearts, our minds, our bodies and our souls. We will always love and miss you Amy Winehouse xxxxxxxxxx.

Alex Smithson

The Girl With Silver Hair

As I was recently requested by one of my friends about drawing them, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and do so. I must admit, I loved the final result as it was how I wanted it to be.

I can be entirely honest with this drawing though, I have done this drawing entirely from memory and not from a single photo reference.

It was initially meant to take at least three to four days to complete, but it took me roughly two weeks to do as I had dedicated more time to writing and publishing articles, as well as doing coursework for college.

The Girl With Silver Hair
The Girl With Silver Hair

I wanted to make sure that I could get the natural hair tones just right, so that there would be shadowing of the silver hair, as well as creating hints of shadow across the whole drawing in general.

Overall, I am absolutely pleased with how the final result of this drawing turned out and a close friend of mine who I sent this drawing to first thought this was so cool, and then after I sent it to my close friend first, I then shared it around and sent it to a friend of mine who requested I draw her, and even she absolutely loved how it turned out. She even said that she can’t wait to hang it up considering I sent it to her after sending it to my close friend first.

To be honest, I felt really pleased with the feedback I was given by my close friend, my friend who requested I draw her and everyone else, as I felt like I had made everyone smile, and it shocked me. Although it was really well done, I was given a bit of critique, which wasn’t bad, but was just a bit of critique that I’ve since taken on board to improve for next time, but overall, I loved how it turned out, and I’ll be making sure to continue making drawings, as well as making improvements here and there to make any future drawings better.

If you liked the end result of this drawing, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated, and if you also enjoyed reading this article based on this drawing I did for my friend, then please feel free to share this article around.

Alex Smithson

It’s Finally Time to Set Your Creative Side Free!

We all have our own ways of being creative, but just how do we set that creativity of ours free? Well, it’s pretty easy to do so nowadays, as a lot of artists record time-lapse clips which are often uploaded to Instagram, Vine, Twitter and even Facebook, but it’s being able to document the process that is often the most crucial key factor of drawing.

Recently, I published two artistic interpretation articles which were based on the Queen of Pop Songstress, Madonna, with possibly a third on the way (still thinking about it), as I did the first one based on a photograph taken during the Ray of Light era, while the second artistic interpretation, which I published most recently, was of Madonna during the 1986 True Blue Era, based on the iconic photograph that Herb Ritts took of her 30 years ago.

I love the thought of drawing, because it helps me to set my creativity free, as well as the kind of ideas that I’ve had in mind beforehand. I always believe that setting your creativity free is good, as this can help you to really produce something that no-one else will be able to produce, even if they tried.

Of course, being creative can be difficult because it’s how you design something, whether it would be to do with designing something on a computer, or putting those ideas or concepts onto paper, and yes, at times I have had the occasional creativity block, and it can be annoying at times, but it’s when we let our sub-conscious minds wander when drawing that often makes us produce the best pieces of work that we didn’t think we could produce.

You might remember 3 years ago I went to Kelsey Park during the 6-week Summer Break that I was on when I finished Year 10. Well I didn’t realise this, but when I took that photograph of the Canada Goose, which all of you have seen, I actually didn’t realise that the photograph of the Canada Goose would be the most iconic photograph I had taken.

The year after I took that iconic photograph, I revisited Kelsey Park again, but this time took a photo of a Squirrel which had clenched both its little hands together, like as if it was fist bumping itself. That, to me was also iconic because it’s something that caught my eye.

The third photo I remember which was also iconic, which I included on Book #2: “A Year in Photography” was of the Tom Aytch graffiti wall in Shirley Hills, in Croydon, when a photographer was standing at the wall taking photos of the panoramic view, and that was an iconic photo of mine as I had also used a filter on that photograph to make it look and appear more professional.

In terms of drawing, however, I didn’t always do drawing after I finished my time for good at Oasis Academy: Shirley Park, but that changed when I enrolled onto the UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course at Croydon College back in 2014. I have noticed my drawing skills have rapidly improved over the course of the past two years, and I feel absolutely pleased that I’ve used my drawing skills wisely with drawing Madonna, and it’s an absolute relief that I’ve managed to showcase what I’ve worked on. Drawing Madonna was the best choice I had in mind, and I feel absolutely pleased that I’ve used her as an example for ideas based on the artistic interpretation drawings I did of her.

In terms of creativity, I know it’s always about being original, but it’s also about being able to express yourself in your work, as well as how you produce your work, and not just that, but whether it comes to drawing or taking photos, or even if it comes to designing something, you’ll be able to say that you had made sure to do something creative with your time, and that you chose to set your creativity free.

To end, I would like to say: It’s Finally Time to Set Your Creativity Free!”

If you enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated :-).

Alex Smithson

Madonna: Artistic Interpretation #2: The True Blue Era (1986)

As I kicked my two-week holiday off with a bang, I took the opportunity to draw the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, again, but this time in her True Blue era, as I saw that a lot of fans had created pieces of artwork inspired by the True Blue photograph that Herb Ritts took of her back in 1986.

This drawing took from Friday 25th March to Tuesday 29th March to complete, and has to be one of the most difficult drawings I’ve produced yet. It’s worth the time drawing, because I can finally set my creativity free after a long while. It’s amazing what a 5B pencil can produce, and I just feel so fortunate that I can draw what I’m good at.

Over the course of the few days I’ve been producing this drawing, I’ve already been asked by one of my friends upon request if I can draw them, and I will, and I recently had some feedback given that I’ve been documenting my progress of this drawing on the photo-sharing service, Instagram, and I was told by one of my Instagram followers that it was so good, and it really brought a smile to my face.

I think with this drawing I wanted it to be based around not just that era, but also around how I artistically interpret Madonna as a musician.

Artistic Interpretation 2 - Madonna - The True Blue Era (Final Version)

The final statistics of the Rebel Heart Tour that Madonna brought to a remarkable close on the 20th March show that the tour has officially grossed $169,804,336, with full attendance (1,045,479 / 1,045,479).

This is a fantastic milestone of its own that marks the end of the Rebel Heart Era on such a positive note. I also feel glad to have done this drawing freehand with the photo reference of Madonna during her True Blue Era, which was all the way back in 1986. Exactly 30 years ago. Wow! Time sure has flown.

To celebrate this milestone, I have officially uploaded and published a video of this drawing whilst it was in progress, and it will show you the progress that I have made in drawing my second artistic interpretation of Madonna, right up to the very end ☺.

If you liked my second artistic interpretation drawing of Madonna, then please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated and I hope you liked the drawing and the video ☺.

Alex Smithson

My Artistic Interpretation of Madonna

From Friday 11th March 2016 to Monday 14th March 2016, I worked on my drawing of the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, and this drawing that I worked on was inspired on one of the photos that was taken of Madonna during the Ray of Light era. I can be honest with you all, this was my first proper attempt at drawing someone including their face, considering that a few years ago, I couldn’t draw a face properly unless I used a photo to trace over the original.

In this drawing, however, I did use a photo of Madonna from the Ray of Light era, but I didn’t trace her at all. Instead, I did the drawing freehand by looking at my computer screen, and then I drew freehand as I went along. I studied the photo while I was drawing, so that I could create my own interpretation of Madonna during the Ray of Light era.

Because it took some time to complete, I wanted to make sure that I could show my creative side to life in the artistic sense, and because my drawing skills had rapidly improved over the course of last year and the year before, I thought it would be nice to pay homage to Madonna as she has left a positively remarkable impact not just on my life, but on the lives of all of us, and there is no doubt that she is actually one of the most revolutionary musicians around.

I don’t care about the controversy at the end of the day that centres around her, all I care about is that she is putting herself out there for all of us and making sure to stand up and fight for what we all believe in, and it’s about time. I look up to Madonna as she is always there to inspire and make us all believe in ourselves and that we can be the best we can be.

But one thing I can say about her is she is brave at being dangerous at certain things, because I certainly couldn’t take the kind of risks she can take, and I admire Madonna entirely, because she might feel afraid to do something like any of us would, but she is brave because she goes for those risks head-on and it’s been a lot of strength, determination, courage, passion and love that has made Madonna the independent woman she is today.

As yesterday drew Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour to a remarkable close, I thought it would be a good idea to showcase the drawing I’ve done. Please keep in mind that it will of course look different to the original drawing, but I wanted to make sure my artistic interpretation of Madonna was original.

Without further ado, here is my artistic interpretation of the Queen of Pop Songstress, Madonna, in drawing form.

My Artistic Interpretation of Madonna

It’s the first time in almost a year since I last did anything drawing-based, and this is the first time I’ve ever attempted drawing someone famous including their facial features and hair, so as you can imagine it was difficult for me to draw this, but all that hard work and free time drawing Madonna was absolutely worth it. I love how it’s turned out to be honest, and it’s a way of me saying with inspiration from Madonna that we should all be ‘Living for Love’ no matter what, because after all, love really does lift us up even at the most difficult of times. I hope my drawing inspires all of you :-).

If you liked my first ever artistic interpretation of Madonna, please feel free to feedback your thoughts on my first ever artistic drawing. Your feedback is absolutely appreciated.

Alex Smithson

The Beauty of Natural Form in Black & White

Hello, to keep this short, I thought I’d upload a drawing that was initially meant to take me at least 2 – 3 weeks to finish, but instead took me 4 weeks to complete.

To challenge myself with this drawing, I did this free-hand, and I wanted to make sure I could bring the surface texture out in the drawing, so I used shading, and one of the techniques I was taught by one of the teachers who came in from a different school was you could use a tissue and very gently smudge the areas that you have shaded really dark, and it does work wonders, because if you notice the areas on the drawing I did, some or most areas of the drawing were shaded in dark to light, and then I smudged them, giving the drawing a 3-Dimensional effect.

I have uploaded to this post the drawing that I finished off last night, and also a version of the original that I needed to change to black and white to help me with getting this drawing completed. Please comment on what you think of the drawing, and feel free to drop me an email via the contact form on the Contact button above this post.