Inspiring Art: 9 Winning Drawings of People

One of the many benefits of entering your art into the PleinAir Salon is that it puts your drawings of people or paintings of places in front of our Editors and the world. The PleinAir Salon has a variety of categories based on media, subject, and even age and level. Here, we share a selection of works that have won in the monthly round, specifically from the Drawing category.

Be inspired by these drawings of people, and enter your best work in the PleinAir Salon here today. There’s $33,000 annually in cash prizes!

1. “Last Chance”

drawings of people - Tanja Gant
Tanja Gant, “Last Chance,” pencil, 25 x 17 in.; (December 2022)

2. “Daveed”

Realism Portrait
Kerri Mcauliffe, “Daveed,” pastel, 13 x 10 in., (June 2022)

3. “Plein Air Artists-Ireland”

drawings of people - Ned Mueller plein air
Ned Mueller, “Plein Air Artists-Ireland,” charcoal, 22 x 6 in., (February 2021)

4. “In Her World”

Rosanna Gaddoni, "In Her World," mixed media, 30 x 22 in., (November 2022)
Rosanna Gaddoni, “In Her World,” mixed media, 30 x 22 in., (November 2022)

“I started with a very simple linear and soft sketch with graphite, to block in the main figure and have a sense of the composition, mainly the contour of the figure,” said Rosanna Gaddoni. “Then I applied a layer of charcoal powder in the background and in areas of the figure, where I will need a mid-tone grayscale value, with a makeup brush.

“I wore cotton gloves and I rubbed my hand on the surface where I need to fix the charcoal into the paper. This operation gives a very even effect on the surface of the charcoal. In this stage, the work is still a very blurry image.

“I use hot-pressed watercolor Arches paper 300 gm2, so it is strong enough to allow me to work with the level of detail that I aim for. From there I started from the darkest areas, working with different kinds of charcoal pencils or sticks, and defining more and more the drawing.

“In the more detailed and light areas (like the dress and the skin areas) I also worked with graphite 2H, H. max HB. I finished the work with a compressed charcoal pencil where high black contrast was needed, and with a kneaded gum, or cut pieces from a hard gum, for the highlights.”

5. “Texas”

realistic portrait - Lon Brauer
Lon Brauer, “Texas,” charcoal, 24 x 24 in., (May 2021)

6. “The Girl in the Bus”

Milno Academy portrait
Milno Atelier, “The Girl in the Bus,” mixed media, 18.1 x 14.8, (July 2022)

7. “Lying on the Edge of Calm”

black and white figure drawings
Tracy Frein, “Lying on the Edge of Calm,” 26 x 36 in., (September 2022)

“My subjects are a compelling visual portrayal of the human spirit, determination, and courage,” said Tracy Frein. “I strive to show the viewer that while at first glance, my subjects seem serene and normal, but show a sense of inner fragility.

“Capturing this inner fragility is what has moved me forward documenting my subjects and their dealing with mental illness. The viewer cannot passively view my work without living in it.”

8. “The First Love, Mother and Child”

realistic drawings of people
David Gomez, “The First Love, Mother and Child,” 13.3 x 8, (November 2021)

9. “Unshakable”

realistic portrait drawing
Brenda Murphy, “Unshakable,” mixed media, 17 x 24 in., (December 2021)

Remember to enter your best drawings and paintings into the next round of the PleinAir Salon. This is a monthly art competition with cash prizes and more. [enter the art competition here]

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