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Art, Challenges, Drawing a Painting

Take 3 of 13 – Seductive Girl, Lichtenstein

So, this was another straightforward piece to draw for me. I’m not going to go into details of the process, I don’t want to sound redundant. I was actually going to wait on this one and post it with my next drawing, but like I said in my first post, sometimes life just happens, and I’ve suddenly found myself caught up with a few things and haven’t had time to start a new sketch.

However, I am definitely still going through with this, although the updates might not be as regular.

So on to the painting. Roy Lichtenstein’s style of work is quite unique in that he is a pop artist, and he is heavily influenced by the comic book style. People usually think that these are easier to draw, because the features are big and all the lines are very clear. However, I find them much trickier to draw because any mistake or inaccuracy is a lot more visible with these kinds of drawings.

That being said, I enjoyed this sketch the most so far. Only, my hand was aching by the time I was done with it. I also fought a lot with the idea of whether to stay true to Lichtenstein’s version and add the dots or omit them. I actually left the drawing for a couple of days while I thought it through, and asked several people’s opinions. Finally, I decided to go for it. I guess a huge part of it was I felt if I had added the dots it would ruin the overall picture, because again, I am only using a pencil (as opposed to the blue), and also I did not think I could replicate them in a way that would look as good as they do in the actual painting.

Once I went for it, I stopped at her face. This is where artists and writers struggle, I think. We get attached to our work, and this is why we bring in third parties to critique us. And that is what happened with me, I got a bit attached to my work, especially her face. For whatever reason, I loved her face and did not want to blemish it with all these dots.

I went back and forth with this…until I finally made my decision:


Outline of the picture

Making the lines thicker in preparation for the darkening of all the lines

Making the lines thicker in preparation for the darkening of all the lines

After all the lines have been darkened using an HB 2 pencil

After all the lines have been darkened using an HB 2 pencil


My dilemma – should I add the dots to her face or leave it as is.

Decision made. Final version - "Seductive Girl", Roy Lichtenstein by yours truly

Decision made. Final version – “Seductive Girl”, Roy Lichtenstein by yours truly

I do have another Lichtenstein painting to draw, probably should have merged the two. However, I’m also going with the flow here. Whichever painting I feel like drawing, I pick up and go for it. So I can’t begin to tell you what’s coming next, we’ll just have to wait and see.


About smshamma

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle, but if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." - Marilyn Monroe


25 thoughts on “Take 3 of 13 – Seductive Girl, Lichtenstein

  1. A wonderful professor of mine just saw your latest sketch and the first two as well. Here is what he and his family wanted to share with you:

    “We were amazed at the quality of her work in all three sketches. There are seven of us here at the dinner table and everyone suggested that this artist might well think of a professional career in the near future. I hope you can give her all the encouragement possible. Thank you for sharing these lovely drawings with us.” – Steve Steib, from United States

    Posted by Ballad | April 11, 2013, 05:55
  2. Did you use only an HB2 pencil or ink as well?
    Great stuff by the way, keep it up!

    Posted by m | April 12, 2013, 01:55
    • Only an HB 2 pencil. No ink. I just pressed the hell out of the pencil when I started filling in all the lines. My hand was aching bad when I was finished with this piece. Also, keep in mind the photography probably makes it look a bit darker than it actually is.

      And thank you! :)

      Posted by smshamma | April 12, 2013, 02:11
  3. Third time is the charm and you’ve done a terrific job on this piece. The original has a style and directness to it but I always thought it lacked a certain kind of feeling. You’ve now made this very emotional and tender to look at because you brought just a bit of mystery to her gaze and face in this sketch.

    We all try to find our own face and the mysteries it carries in another’s face. It’s especially true when we’re drawing. I’d like to believe that without knowing you must have subtly put a bit of your spirit in her the face. It’s what balances the whole image and bring a kind of Suad-ness to it all its own.

    The dots were the right thing to do because it’s comes across as a layer that viewers have to look beyond to see this girl as she truly is. It’s a small marvel that your touches never seem to be out of place because this is just like working under a microscope. A careless mistake or arbitrary choice would take away from the balanced portrait you’ve created.

    It’s not a cell from pages of a comic book. This is now much more of an intimate moment carbonized as memory that only those who have been lonely can know and feel.

    I love it that you had fun with this one and it brought out the best from you.

    Posted by Ballad | April 12, 2013, 06:01
    • I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
      I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
      I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
      But I always thought that I’d see you again

      These words come to mind after gazing back at your sketch and thinking a little more on this early morning. They’re from a song by James Taylor called Fire and Rain.

      I hope you’re framing both the sketches and your photos showing the process. I hope you’ve got a wall to eventually frame and hang all 13. You’ll have an exhibition at a local art gallery. Of that I’m sure :))

      Posted by Ballad | April 12, 2013, 06:25
  4. An appreciation from a friend in Rome:

    “I loved this sketch of the woman very much! The technique the artist has used really fitted the style of painting. Simply beautiful.” – Valeria Festinese, from Italy

    Posted by Ballad | April 12, 2013, 22:20
  5. Praise from my friend, who had seen your Starry Night sketch, and after seeing this one now:

    “Oh mashallah! This artist is seriously amazing! This sketch of the girl and the other of the man is stunning. Your friend is so uniquely talented and I hope she realizes that about herself.” – Haif Abdulla, from France

    Posted by Ballad | April 13, 2013, 05:22
  6. An appreciation just coming in from New York City:

    “This sketch look really very nice and the artist’s range is superb. This is very detailed, again I can see things that I didn’t see in the originals.” – Rashid Al Marri, from the United States

    Posted by Ballad | April 13, 2013, 06:05
  7. An appreciation for your sketches coming in from the city of Lugano:

    “I am very familiar with all three of those paintings actually and I must say her interpretations are amazing!!! Mashallah for a first time trying something like this, she should be aware of the talent she has, really!
    Perhaps she could eventually go on and add a personal touch to turn them into her own art, but then again, to be honest, even left as they are, all three are very well done! I hope my feedback will encourage her in pursuing this talent. :)” – Nuwayr Az, from Switzerland

    Posted by Ballad | April 13, 2013, 15:49
  8. This appreciation just came in from my friend and professor of theater and acting who I worked with on several productions of plays:

    “This artist is very talented. These three sketches of the paintings are impressive. They show a great deal of innate skill, a sense of balance, proportion, line, weight, shape and ability to capture style. I hope your friend pursues further training if that is an interest. Wishing her well.” – Lisa Wilson, from United States

    Posted by Ballad | April 13, 2013, 18:18
  9. This is the third of three comments from my friend:

    “I have to say I’m not an expert in Art. I love it, that’s true, but I am not sure I am the most suitable person to critique someone else’s work. I will do my best. I think the drawings are good.

    With regards to this Lichtenstein one, it is hard to distinguish the copy from the original! Very accomplished” – Alicia Gonzalez, from UAE

    Posted by Ballad | April 14, 2013, 09:12
  10. Here’s a comment that just came in from a friend about all three sketches:

    “I must say this young artist is doing great for her first time! Wow! Please give her my encouragement and tell her to continue making beautiful impressions with her hands.” – Sara M., from UAE

    Posted by Ballad | April 14, 2013, 11:50
  11. A friend, who loved your Starry Night, just sent this feedback about the last two sketches:

    “Both the Lichtenstein and the Magritte are both very nicely done. If she is looking to improve, however, I would say pay more attention to shading. Overall she is doing a great job and tell her to keep it up.” – Marcela Correa, from United Kingdom

    Posted by Ballad | April 14, 2013, 14:40
  12. From the Midwest and open country here is an appreciation for yours truly:

    “Wow! Her impression of Van Gogh’s Starry Night is amazing!! I’m also very taken with how she defined the Seductive Girl in her own way and LOVED that one probably the most! Very very nice!!! I have an artist friend, and he is very good at skyscrapers and such. But your artist friend is more my kind of taste in art. She’s VERY talented! Please tell her to make time for her expressions and keep up the very nice job! I’m from Iowa and to tweak a popular saying here, ‘if you draw it they will come'” – Wendy Devine from United States

    Posted by Ballad | April 16, 2013, 05:42
  13. A good friend who is on a trip in the city Kyoto saw this sketch yesterday and just sent this appreciation for yours truly:

    “The artist behind this sketch is really talented. i look forward to seeing more of her beautiful work.” – Mevsim Timur, from Japan

    Posted by Ballad | April 16, 2013, 13:01
  14. This is from an acquaintance in Boston who I hadn’t been in touch with for a long while but decided to share your sketches with:

    “You might have heard the news of the awful carnage in Boston. I saw your friend’s three sketches about two days ago. At the time I admired them but now looking at them gives me comfort. Seeing so many people hurting is heartbreaking, but this artist’s work reaffirms for me that there are people out there gifted to make beautiful things for others in this world. Her work gives me hope right now that we can all bring a little beauty to heal each other. So tell her that the world needs people like her in places small or big. Where others try to hurt or rip apart lives a person like this artist can make a beautiful difference in others’ lives.” – Kay Adams

    Posted by Ballad | April 16, 2013, 21:12
  15. These thoughts just came in from a university professor who I shared your three sketches with:

    “These are great. I think that imitation is the best way to learn in art or writing. But I think she also added things in each sketch that was her own. The best thing for me is not precision but really capturing the spirit of each painting. Not easy what she did at all. Impressive.” – Nezar Andary, from UAE

    Posted by Ballad | April 17, 2013, 10:14
  16. “About these gorgeous sketches I look at all the work that she put into them and feel under qualified to critique the work. But I’ve always felt that it’s a good excercise to mimic the great painters who were masters of color and light … she’s certainly got a marvelous sensibility and I hope some of that great instinct and daring from the masters rubs off onto her and the way she sees and creates things as well :) What she did looks great for sure!” – Frida Marzouk

    Posted by Ballad | April 17, 2013, 19:43
  17. Here are petite impressions from a person who I met on a flight to Los Angeles over a year ago and have been in touch with off and on:

    “Hmm, her way of bringing this painting to life through this sketch is mesmerizing and makes me think of The Archies comics. This is very much a Seductive Veronica, one of the memorable characters, from the Archies.” – Laura, from United States

    Posted by Ballad | April 17, 2013, 21:10
  18. Here’s an appreciation just in for yours truly:

    “I love the look of Seductive Girl and what she did with those pencils looks absolutely great!! How much fun! I really hope she enjoyed herself, although it’s not easy at all, and tell her she needs to have fun with and feel joy through the sketches. I just love the comic book style that she made into her own and sparkle.” – Sandy Knapton, from United States

    Posted by Ballad | April 18, 2013, 06:06
  19. A friend of mine was on a trip in London when she received your three sketches. She just sent this appreciation for yours truly:

    “I must say that this artist has got high visual techniques and skills, mashallah. The first two copies are quite close to the originals. I guess using the pencil doesn’t quite have the same effect though. It’s a very different feeling you get when looking at the painting and then seeing the sketch. But this third sketch of the woman! Wow! I love her drawing more than the original. It’s the one that is most impressive from all three of her sketches. I am sure she has really great drawings or paintings of her own since her sketches of these originals was of such wonderful quality. Please tell her a lot of good luck from me! :-)” – Dana Akel, from United Kingdom

    Posted by Ballad | April 18, 2013, 19:53
    • Interesting. Dana Akel is actually a really good friend of mine. Small world, huh?

      Posted by smshamma | April 18, 2013, 20:07
      • That’s a wonderful coincidence. It’s true that some days the world just shrinks down and around the corner comes a familiar face.

        Posted by Ballad | April 19, 2013, 06:11
  20. Here’s a note on this sketch from my friend who had only seen the first two sketches:

    “I don’t know much of the modern art and hadn’t seen this painting before, but the artist’s sketch of the girl in the original Seductive Girl so closely resemble each other that her creation is a dead ringer! What’s more is that it’s kinda racy too! :) Her choices and styles with these impressions so far has been eclectic. Tell her to keep it up. After seeing the sketch and painting side by side I ask the question who is the original artist? To her credit it’s not so easy to say ;)” – Tearsa Storms, from United States

    Posted by Ballad | April 19, 2013, 06:12

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