Books: Drawing from Life {don bachardy}

March 21, 2015

Warren Beatty

Don Bachardy
is a portrait artist who literally draws from life.

He once said,
"...maybe I became an artist to have an excuse
to look deeply at people. We choose professions
that give us extra license."

Bachardy's self portrait in Hollywood

In a three- to four-hour sitting, subjects like Warren Beatty patiently and perhaps uncomfortably sit across from the staring creator who brilliantly captures a truthful lifelike portrait
they possibly will hate. 

Carol Burnett

In his words, 
"I can't cheat.
The whole point of drawing from life is to draw what I see, and the truth of what I'm looking at is always far more interesting to me than any fantasy I may have in my head about a particular personality."

Natasha Richardson

Capturing a live sitter's essence, especially one whose star shines brightly in the eyes of millions of fans, with such honesty...
is that not intriguing?

Jack Nicholson

In his new book we are treated to something special.
A collection of the artist's work in which Bachardy in-the-moment-of-truth-style meets (or combusts with?) glittery, pretendhappy, superficial Hollywood glam.

Don Bachardy
the 80ish young artist today

"The better they sit, the better the portrait is."
(Don Bachardy)


Hollywood (Glitterati, 2014) is a half century
retrospective treasury of portraits breathing with life.
It features more than 300 original paintings and drawings
of tinseltown personalities who sat for Don Bachardy.

Teri Garr in Hollywood

Most of the artworks were signed and dated by the sitter
not because the artist was starstruck but as proof
the piece was created from a live sitting.

How about you?
What does your profession give you
"extra license" to do?

And...would you rather be the sitter or the artist?

Peace to you right where you are.

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  1. Yes, the superficial Hollywood crowd.. you can really see what's happening behind the usual "touched up" face. Such an interesting and somewhat haunting post Michele. Given that all human beings that have made it to adulthood have a certain amount of baggage .. I wonder what he'd see in me as he is extraordinarily effective at seeing right through people! Thanks for sharing:)

    1. i bet i would be uncomfortable with my sketch because while it is easy to grin and look relaxed for the camera, there's no hiding for 4 hours in front of the artist. thanks for playing along, leslie.

  2. An artist with real soul...gotta love it. I want to check out that book, someone to be admired!

    1. and a gutsy soul! it's an intriguing book, tina!


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