by: Shannon Meis (Brouk)
The creation of “Daisy” was inspired by the flower itself and how hair is associated with feminine beauty. In making this composition, I wanted those two elements alone to be the focus, with the rest of the composition being secondary in attention. That’s why I chose to have her head turned to the side and her eyes looking down, so there’s not an obvious beautiful face rendered to symbolize beauty, but is represented through her long, wavy hair.
From a materials point-of-view, the paper I chose for this piece was green, red’s complimentary color. This makes her fiery-red hair stand out even more, creating the high level of contrast I had intended in my initial sketches. In addition, I chose to keep her attire simple to ensure that her hair remained the focal point of the piece. I chose to use flat black acrylic ink and clothe her with a basic long-sleeve shirt. The rich, dark black ink adds another layer of contrast to the bright yellows, oranges, and reds in her hair.
That being said, the stylistic approach to this piece was not to realistically render the entire portrait, but to capture the essence of the concept of beauty itself through high attention to detail in her hair. Notice too how the daisies cascading down her hair are all rendered flat. They aren’t bent or shaped organically in her hair; they’re purposefully two-dimensional, scattered along her curls as a complement and compositional break to her busy, long, wavy red hair.
I submitted "Daisy" to the State of the Arts (along with two other portraits of mine, "Monarch" and "Glowing Orchids") in the hopes of my work being hung beside other amazing artists within the Kansas City metro area. Each year, the curated works for this show are phenomenal, and I am honored to have had one of my portraits selected to be hung beside such rich local talent!
In each of my portraits, I hope that my attention to detail draws people in to take a closer look, and that they're able to draw a connection with my subject to someone in their life. There's nothing more satisfying to me than when someone views my work and says "hey, this looks like __!" Building a connection with the viewer is just as satisfying for me as the actual drawing process - both bring me so much joy!
I've been doodling and drawing for as long as I can remember, and I've been fascinated with portraiture since I was 16. I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't have a sketchbook in my backpack (as a student) or in my purse (as an adult).
Following my formal education and time at SCAD (my alma mater, the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia), I began to hone in on the concept of beauty in my portrait work, specifically focusing on the concept of feminine beauty in Western culture. Luckily, I live in a country that is full of diversity, and I use a lot of the women I know and are inspired by to draw inspiration for each of my portraits. *Fun fact; the concept of my piece “Daisy” actually originated from my sister, a person I love and admire deeply, and who also has long, fiery red hair.
The first colored pencil portrait I completed was a self portrait created 12 years ago while I was a sophomore in high school, and ever since then, I’ve never grown tired of drawing portraits and don’t intend on quitting any time soon. :) There are far too many amazing, inspiring, beautiful women in this world to grow tired of capturing them!