Oliver Sin, "Bob," vine charcoal on drawing paper in medium surface; won "exceptional merit" award for Portrait Society of America 2019 annual international art competition

“Portraiture, which I constantly practice as an art professor and as a hobby, is my favorite form of expression,” says Oliver Sin (Portrait Drawing Simplified). View some of his award-winning vine charcoal drawings, including a “Time Magazine” cover portrait, here.

Oliver Sin and His Vine Charcoal Drawings

I am an alumnus from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA, with a BFA in Illustration. Right after I graduated in 1996, I started my art career as a computer game concept artist at LucasArts. From 2001 until now, I have returned to my own school to be an art professor for the School of Fine Arts and 2D Animation. I have been drawn to art since the age of 3. Portraiture, which I constantly practice as an art professor and as a hobby, is my favorite form of expression.

Since 2011, I have been lucky enough to come across a few distinguished contemporary artists as my mentors: ZhaoMing Wu, Henry Yan, and Chung-Wei Chien. Their tireless guidance has urged me to put greater efforts into capturing fleeting human expressions and paying more attention to precise composition in figurative portraits.

My first art book, “Drawing the Head for Artists,” was published by the Rockport publisher in 2019 and two of my portraits were commissioned and featured on the cover of Time Magazine as part of their “100 Women of the Year” project (March 2020).

Oliver Sin, "Portrait of Virginia Woolf"
Oliver Sin, “Portrait of Virginia Woolf,” vine charcoal on drawing paper in medium surface, 17 x 14 in.; commissioned by Time Magazine for ” the 100 Women of the Year” project (March 8, 2020)

The portrait drawings of my mom and dad were created from life as presents for their 80th birthdays. They live in Hong Kong, and since I moved to the U.S. 30 years ago, I haven’t spent much time with them. Drawing my parents was an unforgettable experience and a priceless opportunity for us to reconnect via art; such a beautiful addition to my life.

Vine charcoal drawings - Oliver Sin
Oliver Sin, “Portrait of Mom,” vine charcoal on drawing paper in medium surface, 24 x 18 in.; won “finalist” award for Portrait Society of America 2018 annual international art competition
Vine charcoal drawings - Oliver Sin
Oliver Sin, “Portrait of Dad,” vine charcoal on drawing paper in medium surface, 17 x 14 in.; won “first place drawing” and “people’s choice” awards for Portrait Society of America 2020 annual international art competition

Related Article: A Step by Step Portrait Drawing with Vine Charcoal: “Juan”

Portrait drawing - vine charcoal


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