Healthcare Worker Portrait Request

As you can tell from the homepage, Amdall Gallery has a custom portrait raffle going right now. We’ve got about 12 days left on the contest, so if having some artwork similar to what I share on this site is something that interests you, give it a shot! I’ve done these a few times before, but one difference this time is obviously the fact that I’m running the giveaway during a global health crisis. I also mentioned that if a healthcare worker happens across the raffle and wants a portrait, that they didn’t need to enter:

If you’re a healthcare/essential-categorized worker and you want a portrait, you don’t need to enter this contest. Just get in touch with me either through the website or social media (I’ll try to use the relevant hashtags). If you’ve been taking care of us all during this pandemic, I’ll see what I can do to pay it forward. A portrait is a very small thing, but maybe that will interest someone.

From the original giveaway write-up

The winner of this giveaway gets a custom portrait of whatever they’d like (self-portrait, pet, favorite brand of mustard, etc). If you’re a healthcare worker though, no need to enter. Just get in touch if you want one. #Giveaway #portraitsfornhsheroes #portrait (I don’t anticipate getting many, if any, requests outside of the giveaway. If for some reason I do get a bunch, I’ll do as many as I can.)

From the Twitter post

As I said above, a drawing from an amateur portrait artist is pretty minor compared to folks who are putting their own safety on the line working during a pandemic. I’ve mentioned healthcare workers like doctors and nurses, but there are so many who have kept vital functions going while the world struggles with COVID-19. It’s hard to overstate how thankful we should all be that providers are still in Emergency Rooms, workers have kept our food supply chain strong, teachers are still helping kids remotely, and so many other examples. These jobs are already incredibly demanding and stressful, and yet here they are saving us all when the stakes are higher. Most people know someone in these professions (my mom and sister are both healthcare providers), so the situation hits close to home no matter who you are.

I don’t really get much traction on social media, likely in some part due to the fact that most of my content is low effort auto-posts exported from WordPress. Or I’m just not very good at it. Either way, because of that typically minor social media engagement, I was actually a bit surprised when I got my first request via Instagram from a nurse in the United Kingdom. I won’t give her name here, but she asked if I could draw a portrait of her and her family’s dog. I was glad to get this opportunity, and I hoped to give her a portrait she would be happy with. I immediately tabled the other drawing and went to work on this one.

Here is how that portrait turned out. I’ll follow with the usual discussion of the drawing itself and a progression .gif.

Right off the top, I’ll say this: I like how it turned out. But more importantly, how did the nurse who requested this portrait feel about it? Well, I was glad to find that she really liked it! I sent her a couple images via Instagram and she seemed to be quite happy with both a late draft and the final version. This is the most difficult part of offering to do portraits for others from my perspective. It’s something that made me nervous the first time I did a custom portrait giveaway, wondering what the subject will think. I haven’t had anyone react negatively yet…at least if they did, they were kind enough to spare my feelings. Anyhow, this person was happy and that’s a great thing!

As I mentioned, I’m pretty satisfied with the end result. There weren’t really any major negative areas from my perspective. I still don’t have a ton of experience drawing animals, but I think I’m getting better. I guess if I wanted to harp on smaller details, I could mention the background scenery obviously isn’t great, and I could have done better with shadow contrast. But those aren’t new challenges, so not something to worry about too much. Overall this was a good effort and I’m proud to send this one.

Here is a progression .gif of the drawing process:

Another challenge that I didn’t consider until now was shipping portraits internationally, as raffle winners have only been in the U.S. so far. Usually, I can wrap a portrait in plastic, surround with cardboard, and fit it in a flat rate USPS envelop. I’ll do my usual wrap-up job and see what the folks at the Post Office advise. Also, I was once again surprised to receive another message requesting a portrait. This time, it was a firefighter’s mom who got in touch. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the message until today, hopefully she’s still interested.

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