More Parks and Recreation Art – Leslie Knope

Over the last week or so, I’ve been dealing with a fairly tough cold. As is usually the case, the kids and I all got sick, while my wife’s superhero immune system spared her. This one really kicked my butt, and I had a few days when even sitting upright sort of wore me out. It was pretty pathetic. Anyway, during this downtime, there was a great deal of television watching that went on. Naturally, we spent a fair amount of time watching the girls’ favorite cartoons. But I also ended up binge-watching pretty much all of the second season of Parks and Recreation.

I wrote about my discovery of and fondness for the show in a post a couple weeks ago. In fact, it was partially that write-up that got me thinking about Parks and Rec again. I just happened to come across a re-run while I was sick, which served as a jumping off point for a Netflix-enabled marathon. Although I’d seen them all before, I’m pretty sure I watched over 20 episodes from that excellent second season while waiting out the invading pathogens. I even checked out the series finale, which I had never seen (I think I missed all of season seven).

Once I started feeling better, I realized I had that drawing spark for the show still. I’d previously sketched Ron Swanson, who is a great character…but he’s not really the main person. While there are a ton of fantastically written and performed characters on Parks and Rec, ultimately it is a show about optimistic workaholic Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler). Considering the fact that she is central to the show, coupled with how hilarious she is, I decided Knope would be a good choice for another portrait.

Here’s how the drawing turned out:

I’ll start with what worked well on this one. I think I was able to capture the general features of Amy Poehler, and it does mostly look like her character. I scored the right color combinations for her hair and skin, which is not always easy to do. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to get the subtle aspects of her expression down; she’s supposed to be proud and happy about this book she’s showing. As the sketch began, I could definitely see how easy it would be to accidentally make her look angry with the eybrow position and closed mouth. For the most part, the overall portrait fits together.

There are a few big misses here, unfortunately. The most glaring is the book…it’s really poorly done. Specifically the worst aspect is the lettering, which clearly is not a strength of mine. My color blending was very sloppy around the letters; sometimes that works well for a sketch, but on the book portion it didn’t. I always knew my handwriting was bad! Even in artwork form, my letters’ shapes have a mind of their own. Also, I think the table at the bottom is really weird looking. The reflective portion of the table might be okay, but the lines are so wobbly…makes me wonder why didn’t re-do the outline before I added color. I blame the cough medicine.

Like I said, I do think that overall it turned out fine. But every time I look at it, I see the sloppily blended book and how sharply it contrasts with the person. For some reason, I took quite a few progression shots on this one. Maybe because I thought I was finished at one point, and then randomly decided to draw that table. Here’s the .gif:

Amdall Progression Knope

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