If I had to pinpoint the most frustrating challenge I face in producing art it would be wanting to work faster. I am really particular about my work and want every piece to be my best. Some pieces can take many weeks to get to that place. Some pieces never match my expectations, but sometimes it just clicks… Horace – 18×20, red pastel, was one of those times (click on the image to see the full drawing). This piece came together very quickly. Perhaps it was the inspiration of the model’s very unique features. What a great jaw! What great hair!! I met Horace at a recent painting workshop in Houston. He is an artist, and working on his degree at a local university. I was really excited when he agreed to model for a group I draw with on the weekends. I purposely positioned myself for the strong profile. I wanted to show off that wonderful, strong jaw and his long, dark, course braids flowing down his back. I was fascinated by how the light just sat there, right on top of his lower lip, with no interference from the upper lip. Awesome! Looking at Horace I’m reminded that those anatomy standards that we portrait artists like to learn can be broken. It’s a joy to draw someone who breaks those rules, and boy can Horace hold a pose… but he’s an artist…duh. I finished most of this portrait from life, but took a photo to finish off the ear at home. This experience was a reminder that if you see someone that really inspires you, don’t be afraid to ask them to model, and don’t be slow to commit that inspiration to paper…or canvas. It might just click!