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Drawing of Frank, completed by arminmersmann Drawing of Frank, completed by arminmersmann
“Drawing of Frank Rugani”
Commission pencil drawing
Graphite on Illustration Board, 22” x 30”

This drawing took quite a bit longer then I figured, this of course affects the bottom line, but I have to be happy with the outcome, commission or not.

Is something like the sweater necessary for the success of a drawing? No it’s not, but its necessary to please my own artistic endeavors. Underlying within the results is the journey taken, a journey through every centimeter of the man’s face, getting to know the pits, wrinkles, the clearly of the eyes, the moisture on the lips and so much more gives this journey meaning. Once you draw someone you will always look at that person in a differently light, maybe with more honesty.

Thanks for looking

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Anchovy58 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OMG!  Marvelous

LwanB Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Is the sweater necessary? Damn right it is! Your need to please your artistic endeavors made this portrait just that much better.

This is really amazing.
Matsuemon Featured By Owner May 25, 2013
Oh my GOD!! I have no words to describe my amazement. This is beyond perfect
InAmberClad Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Totally awesome
Miss-candiie Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really awesome ... I wish I could draw like you... :)
Israell Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012
hello, your art is fantastic. congratulations
Superfreshhh Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012
I love your write up on this one Armin, as I've been thinking exactly the same thing, so it's great to see it come from someone as great an artist as you.
emiliahortens Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
some day or other I will draw like in this way. :) Amazing.
torfkopp Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012
"Once you draw someone you will always look at that person in a differently light, maybe with more honesty."
Great work, great sentence.
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
LauraWestphal Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
no words to describe how amazing this is
orinoco1973 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
You are with out a doubt one of the best pencil artists on the planet
Amazing work
FreakyArtist Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011   Traditional Artist
It is very true. Whenever you draw someone, you seem to bring out an essence you simply cannot capture with a photograph.
makariytakael92 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Student General Artist
what you say in the description is so true. The drawing is an equally thoughtful work, amazing
GreyScale36 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Skin texture/s indicating soft to hard areas is breath-takingly rendered!!!:D The sweaters texture is painstakingly rendered beyond perfection! This is a truly remarkable piece of work to which I raise my hat off to you & congratulate you such a beautiful piece of skill:D
milsaw771 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
this is really incredible
milsaw771 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
this is just incredible
adrian272727 Featured By Owner May 23, 2011
BrunaTaynara Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
OMG! this is perfect! Congratulations.
I loved
blanket86 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Beautiful work!
AlecWolfe Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010
Wow. This is a beautiful drawing. There detail is incredible and so realistic.
pestibug Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2010
Such a wonderful work. The attention to detail is amazing, but doesn't 'crowd' the drawing. The expression is amazing, whoever had this commissioned must be very, very happy. :)
logismoi Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2010
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
How to be "good" at art.
^Gashu-Monsata reports, 14h 47m ago
Something clicked in my head this week, and I thought I should share it with you guys (no, I didn't break my neck or anything like that XD).

Have you ever looked at your art, and thought to yourself; "This just isn't me?".

Have you ever looked at other people's work, and instantly seen such character, life and soul that just draws you in and want to get to know the artist more?

I've been feeling this for the past few months. Heck, I've never actually been really "happy" with my art to be honest. I just... did what I did and that's it. To me, my art has none of that character and life that I feel is really vital for an inspiring and pleasing peice of art. The way you feel when you draw channels through your work and the viewers can pick it up.

Being on a Foundation Art course with fantastic teachers has really opened my eyes to true "art". Our teachers are near experts at what they do, and this week, we had a drawing session. First, I found out that all my life, I had been drawing wrong :facepalm:

The right (or easiest) way to hold a page when you draw is up semi-straight (like on a easel for instance). This allows you to draw from your arm and not your wrist, hence alot more freedom and expression in your art.

I also found out that drawing fewer details can the picture more interesting Sounds weird, huh? Well, put it this way. When I do digital painting normally, try to overload the painting with every single detail, and it never ends up looking good. Hmmm.... let me show you an example.

Which of these images has more character? Which of these images tell you more about the artist?


Sure, the photo realistic drawing is amazing and whatnot, but that's pretty much all it is. A photorealistic drawing. What's the point of reacreating something exaclty as it is? You may as well just take the photo XD
The second image may look simple, but which of these pictures would you actually be more likely to remember? Not for the image, but for the style?

This gave me so much hope. That you don't have to be an amazing artist to make your work unique. Of course, there is a line that defines a good drawing from a plain bad drawing, but when you draw an image, you'll know in your heart whether it's good or bad.
And when you finish your drawing... carry it on! Don't just draw a person standing there... add something else! You haven't finished a drawing until you've done all you possibly can (and I don't mean fill the whole page, haha XD).

For me, I'd rather look at a drawing that was perhaps drawn with the hand that you don't usually draw with because when you do that, your concentration levels intensify and you focus more on the lines you place that you would if you just drew with the habd youre used to.

Also... try drawing and not using a rubber! Rubbers make you lazy, without one, you have to think more about the lines that you place. Or just simply draw with a pen

This is just something for everyone to think about. Good art doesn't mean drawn to perfection.
In my eye, good art is art that asks questions, but doesn't neccessarily give you the answers.
Also, good art is drawn for a reason. Maybe you just drew it because you like to do it, or maybe you want to bring attention to an issue. But when someone asks you "Why did you draw this", you should be able to answer without hesitation

So, go for it! Do something unique and different that you haven't tried before! Bring some character into your art (if you haven't already :derp: XD). And even if you have your own set style, still try something different, you may like it

If you do, be sure to show me, I'd love to see people breaking out of their comfort zones and testing new waters.

So, if you want to take this up, my first challenge is:


I've done it, but it's in college, haaha XD I'll have to upload it when I can get hold of it. No prizes here, I just want to see which one's strike as the most unique and intersting ^^ Also, when you link the image to me, write in the artists comment on the deviation WHY you drew it. Not just because I told you to, haha XD I mean, what made you draw that particular piece?

Bravo for pointing this out, this is what I tell my students and believe it or not this technique was part of my journey as well. I suppose where we differ is what you think my intent is and that like all art forms there are many ways to express one’s self. It’s not the ism that’s bad but the artist practicing it.

In a foundation class the instructors will brake you down and build you up, the idea that the more “real” something is rendered the better is for noobs and students need to see things in a different light. Yet also in a foundation class you need to teach observational skills from the live model this cannot be overstated, even if your heart is one of pure abstraction. Isms will come, isms will go but learn to see inward and outward.

I guess let take the image of Frank, that I drew, this was a commission how far would the Picasso-ish image have gotten me, not too far. I don’t do commissions much and this was one of the few, the model knew my artistic language and that that language is about naturalism, not cubism, abstraction or primitivism. My work deals with more then what’s in this drawing, which is pure representation and it does not delve into symbolism as most of my work does, so in fairness to me please look at my other work and if it sill boring, that’s ok as well.

If copying without change, construction and re-invention, be it form a photograph or from life, then the creative process is not addressed, in this case I agree there is a useless element about it, it becomes a fundamental exercise at best. There is nothing wrong with these exercises if it improves your knowledge and skills as a technician. But if your aim is only to draw like “a photo”, I’m afraid you will never attain what “art” has to offer. Also I think too many photo-realists rely on technical eye candy alone, with no imagination, in some sense just a limited skill in observation and a stunted creative process. Working in this manner should be a foundation to build on not an end goal.

My goal as a realist is to understand complexities and details; my interest is how the human eyes perceive not how a camera sees. The hallmark of photorealism is capturing distortion and out of focus areas precisely how the camera does, I’m aware of these things and eliminate most of them. My journey begins at the first look of my model the drawing process then becomes an all consuming study. When I complete the work, I develop an understanding of the subject that’s both heightened and very personal. After spending hundreds of hours drawing a person’s face all the while observing the small details that cause “likeness” a journey takes places that cannot be achieved by any other means. I don’t draw just what I see; it’s a combination of facts and feelings that would not work from just a snap of a shutter. I change and alter many thing from the reference photos to me they are just a blueprint an informal guide at best, I transform not just translate what I am observing. I look at small particulars of a person that cannot be seen or deciphered by “normal” cameras. I delete, enhance, elaborate, exaggerate, alter and reinvent, and I do this with putting it through my own psyche. I change what’s in front of me, not for the sake of change but because it’s inevitable and expected, it’s filtered through 40 plus years of living. I have 100% control of every aspect of the final image can this be done with a photo and Photoshop? Maybe but not with my unique technical and artistic language. In the end, it’s a matter of the artist-viewer connection this will not happen every time, maybe not even most of the time, but when it does that’s the magic.

When I got out of art school I was an abstractionist, and asked myself the same question “this just isn’t me” Gashu, thank you for bringing this up its important to all of us, I don’t take offence on the contrary as an artist I better know why I do what I do. I’m not trying to get you to like the work just understand my intent. One thing just don’t get bogged down in art school dogma it is a time in your life to listen, and discover there are many good art forms find it in you to celebrate the best in all of them from abstraction to hyperrealism.

Armin Mersmann
Turboplant Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2010
Somebody doesn't like your work: [link]

arminmersmann Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
she has some great points, ill counter some of them but all in all good for her!

laurasart24 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2010
I am very amazed with the detail in this drawing. I completely understand what you are saying about your own satisfaction in the art work. Other people may not notice one small detail but to the artist it could stand out like a sore thumb. Amazing work. You have really inspiried me to start drawing again.
theatre-kunoichi Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2010
wow this is truly incredible. Even blown up I can't detect the stroke marks
midnite1970 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2010
amazing detail....
Ariana-Spirit Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2010
That's so amazing, I really like his expression
CallieFink Featured By Owner May 13, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Good God. You are a master. Phenomenal work.
nike101 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2010
Chipmunk-Bekah Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2010
Oh my God... that is absolutely amazing! You are incredible! So much time and effort must have gone into it... it blows my mind away! The shading, the glistens on his lips, the way you made the fabric of his sweater absolutely perfect... everything... it's astounding. Utterly astounding. I can't even begin to describe how perfect this is... oh my gosh... you are absolutely brilliant! I am inspired now.
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you so much!

polarpear11 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009
when i saw the preview image I thought that this must be a picture. but it really isn't i'm amazed by your drawing.
mdandree Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2009
You are absolutely the finest pencil artist I've ever seen! :)
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you Mark, i appreciate that very much.

mdandree Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2009
You're very welcome!
Suiji Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2009
Wow wtf... How the hell did you draw that?!?!
techrodark Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2009   Traditional Artist
lamul2 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2009
leticiaaa47 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2009
I am completely speachless!
It's so real you can't even see the pencil marks! looks just like a black and white photo!
perfect, just perfect!
and the expression behind those can almost read his mind!
smexxy-beanie-queen Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2009  Student General Artist
that's... wow...

The detail is wonderful, I can see he's daydreaming, and I want to know what he's thinking. It's difficult to capture the feeling of the person. You've definitely done it! I can almost feel the warm grandpa like aura oozing off him :) absolutely perfect. I can't stop looking at it.
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
his wife just left him after 40 years...
smexxy-beanie-queen Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009  Student General Artist
forty years... :noes: It's so sad when people break up, but I suppose it's for good rather than having to stay with someone you don't really like :)
arminmersmann Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
ben there yeah its hard.
smexxy-beanie-queen Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009  Student General Artist
aww! :hug:
LadyShannen Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2009
Really awesome work! I love the sweter, is amazing how you do!
TruSake Featured By Owner May 23, 2009
unless I get $100,000 US for drawing that, I wouldn't even bother
arminmersmann Featured By Owner May 23, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
So in other words unless the reward is cash other rewards don’t exist for you. The reward of knowledge gained; the visual interaction with and because of another human being. The knowledge from drawing this person, observing and decoding clues of “his” life left in the character of his face. And of a job well done, the striving for craftsmanship and possible adding to (even in a very slight manner) mans history of creating art. These are rewards the money can’t buy.

$100,000 would also be good….
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Submitted on
July 3, 2006
Image Size
447 KB


631 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
10/1600 second
Focal Length
20 mm
Date Taken
Jul 3, 2006, 4:05:53 PM