…and now for something completely different…Native American Pencil Portraits

Pencil sketch
Pencil sketch

I’ve been feeling the urge to draw some Native American Indian faces – well – to be honest – it’s always there in the background but I hold back and don’t get down to it as I want to get it right so badly that when it goes wrong it kills me.

my original pencil study
my original pencil study
I love drawing in graphite, carbon and painting portraits in soft pastels. This is my drawing gear.
I love drawing in graphite, carbon and painting portraits in soft pastels. This is my drawing gear.

The combination of long hair, feathers, fringes and their sheer presence has always appealed to me because of its wildness and naturalness.

My original pastel of a Native American Indian 2005
My original pastel of a Native American Indian 2005

Two of the best Native American Indian portrait artists in my view are Howard Terpning and Harley Brown.

My pastel sketch of "Two Arrows" Dimensions 13x19 inches
My pastel sketch of “Two Arrows” Dimensions 13×19 inches

Both of them paint in a masterful and emotive way that stops me in my tracks.

My original pencil sketch of "White Belly" 2005 Dimensions 7x11 inches
My original pencil sketch of “White Belly” 2005 Dimensions 7×11 inches

I once started to read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown but had to stop reading quite early on in as it is just so tragic.
I love painting and drawing these people and hope you enjoy a look at some of my sketches and pastels that I have done over the years.

Original study I did of "Medicine Crow" in blues and purples and whites. 13x19 inches
Original study I did in blues and purples and whites. 13×19 inches
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8 thoughts on “…and now for something completely different…Native American Pencil Portraits

  1. There are many books of FIRST PEOPLES images including Edward Curtis’ “The North American Indian” & “Portraits” (some unfortunately posed in head dress) . Curtis’ potrait of De Gaza is a tragic image.

    dk

      1. They feel so rustic but then there’s so much attention to detail. It really seems to capture their personalities. You get a sense of their wildness and also of their quiet dignity. Really breath taking. I especially love the first one, the original pencil study. I think the simplicity of it just being done in pencil seems to really add to the effect.

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