Mr. Walden

Mr. Walden


Meet Mr. Walden!

Willie Walden from 4D is my neighbor. If there is one person in our building that makes you think “Sunshine!” every time you run into him in the elevator – it’s Mr. Walden! With his ever ready smile it seems like he is always happy to see you. Note the signature Fedora. I don’t believe I have ever seen Mr. Walden without one. I even asked once – how come the hat? That’s to greet ladies, he said. Indeed. Mr. Walden always tips his hat to ladies. With his old world charm and manners, opening doors for you, offering to help carry your bags to the elevator, always a gentleman style greeting, always a smile, – Mr. Walden makes my heart melt.

#24 of 40. Graphite, Moleskine Cahier sketchbook


12 thoughts on “Mr. Walden

    • So glad you liked the portrait, Leslie! While it was very pleasant to work on this portrait because of his sunshine personality, it was also surprisingly hard. Mr. Walden’s portrait was the first really dark skin portrait I attempted. I heard and read in various sources that dark skin is more difficult to render, but didn’t really believe it. I thought to myself – you just make the tones darker and the highlights brighter. It turned out to be not so simple. The transitions were much shorter than I was accustomed to, and I started building my darks too late when there wasn’t much tooth left on the paper. As a result I did not get the tonal intensity I was hoping for. I will be drawing more dark skin portraits and will try to use what I learned here.

  1. Hi, I just discovered you via the Arthouse Coop website when I was looking through the other submissions for the sketchbook project. Can I just say you’re portraits are outstandings. The character in each and every face. I’m so glad I then clicked on your blog so I could read the history behind how you know each of these people! I think it is a wonderful concept for the project and I’ll look forward to seeing who you find for the remaining pages!

    • Hi Nicola! How nice of you to stop here and check out the stories. The stories are half of the fun sometimes! And also a way for me to keep with my theme – A Day in the Life. I saw your sketchbook on Art House site and remembered your screen name there. Love the pointilism! Always had! You are dong a great job in your book.

    • Thank you, Ryan! This project is an eye opener for me. I am finding out how amazing and beautiful so called “everyday” people are. These are regular people, not celebrities, not models, not high profile people – just my relatives, friends and neighbors. The depth and wonders that can be found in their faces humbles me.

      And the second point: I may not know you very well, we are just friendly fellow bloggers. But from what I do know about you – you do have brightness of personality, curiosity of mind with a twist of self-depreciating humor that puts you and Mr. Walden in the same category. Good to know you!

    • Thank you, Robert! I really appreciate that! It is quite surprising (or perhaps not at all surprising…) what a sustained practice can achieve. But it is too early for me to rest on my laurels – I see too many things that can be improved.

  2. I, too, wish I could draw portraits like you. I love Mr. Walden’s smile, the fedora, the tie and most of all his “I heart customers” button.

    I like what you said in one of your comments about how wonderful it is to draw regular people and see how interesting it all can be.

    • Oh, Carol, you see what I started from. Here’s one of the first portraits I drew. This one I posted for better or worse, but several previous ones are just sitting in a pile – they are so awful.

      I just wanted to do portraits very badly and so keep going after it one clumsy and helpless attempt after another. It gets better, with practice, I am sure you know.

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