Christmas Drawing – 2019 Edition

Last year I did a series of drawings as gifts for family members, which I rather enjoyed doing. To be honest, I don’t draw enough, but when I do I feel energized. Doing it as a gift makes it even more rewarding.

While I was working on the drawings last Christmas, I was already thinking forward to 2019, and what I wanted to do. And, while I started thinking about it in 2018, and I got the subject for this drawing this past summer, the idea actually came a few years ago. I just didn’t realize it at the time.

A few years ago I was visiting family in my hometown and noticed that my only niece at the time, Elizabeth Eck, had a portrait I drew of her displayed on her dresser. It wasn’t a new portrait, it was of her at one or two, drawn when I was still in high school, almost two decades prior.

For her to keep this all of these years later, and still display it, made me proud. She’s always been an important person in my life, and it brought a smile to my face to see something I did so long ago displayed with pride.

I’ve never admitted this publicly, but when my niece was born I was going through a tough time, and she was the beacon I needed at that moment. She kept me motivated and helped me persevere. I wanted to give her an updated portrait to say thank you.

This past summer, on July 9, 2018, she married the love of her life in a ceremony on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. I took photos that day knowing that I wanted to use one of them as a subject for this eventual Christmas present.

I took a few hundred photos, but the one that stood out to me was of her and her new husband dancing on the beach, still in their wedding apparel, with ocean waves crashing behind them.

It felt like the perfect setting for what I wanted to achieve.

I hope they enjoy this. It’s my way of thanking her for just being when I was at a difficult point in my life.

Lyz (Eck) and Tyler Smith’s wedding on the beach in Ocean City, Md, July 9, 2018.
Pencil and charcoal.

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