The Art of Chris Hargrove
Over the past few years, I had been dealing with some crazy medical issues that have kept me from pursuing my photography.
Not having any type of creative outlet not only made me crazy, it also was leading me into depression. Long before, I ever picked up a camera. In high school, I had always enjoyed drawing.
With the help of the coolest art teacher of my entire academic career Mr. William Grapentine, I began sketching images inspired by Patrick Nagel from a book that I had received as a gift from my dearly departed friend Todd.
Fast forward to 2015 and after not drawing for close to twenty years, I found that picking up the pencil and paper was not like riding a bike, that is for me at least. Although I was not horrible, my drawing skill was nowhere near what it had been during my high school and early college years.
Shortly after pulling my Nagel book off the book shelve I put it right back in its place. As I mentioned in an earlier post, last year I found myself joining a few art groups on Facebook. Instead of trying to mimic Patrick, I thought I would be somewhat original and try sketching portraits. I have to say, drawing a face when you have little to no experience is not an easy task.
Although photographers and those who draw are both artist, they are completely different types of animals. Most photographers try to keep all their knowledge about how they get great images and editing effects to themselves. It is almost as if they are holding top-secret information. They cannot share said information with you because you do not have proper government clearance.
It was a breath of fresh air when I joined a Facebook group for pencil drawing. People were kind and they were also willing to give useful critiques. When I would post work in photography forums, if anyone said anything about my photography, it was usually negative.
The worst part is that they said it just to be mean. I found with this new breed of artist, that they were more than happy to share their drawing techniques and ideas to help you obtain the overall image you were attempting.
I have said it before and I will say it again, when it comes to drawing, I do not have the kind of skill that I had once possessed. It got to the point that I was ready to give up and pack all my art supplies, put them out of site and out of mind.
Right about that time, I met another artist who is very talented at drawing portraits. He is also an overall very cool laid back person. In his own way, he was like my beloved Mr. Grapentine. He not only encouraged me to keep going with my drawing, he gave me tips to improve my work and make it easier to do so at the same time!
The artist I speak of is a gentleman by the name of Chris Hargrove. I told him about my frustration with my drawings not having accurate proportions, the despair of my portraits not only missing the likeness of who I was trying to draw, most of the time they lacked the likeness of an actual human being!
Chris suggested that I give “Grid” drawing a try, but most importantly for me not to give up. I explained to him about my photography and that because of my ailment I was unable to shoot and felt as if I was dying without a creative outlet and he truly seemed to understand. Chris also being an artistic soul sympathized with the fact my creativity, had metaphorically been trapped in a bottle and needed a way to get out. If this did not happen soon I was going to lose my bloody mind!
Using His advice and hitting him up here and there for the occasional pep talk did help me improve my game as far as drawing went. I found that illustration and manga turned out to be more my cup of tea and where my talents laid as far as drawing went, but I would never have found that out if I did not meet Chris and had given up on my drawings.
I have met many artist over the past few years on facebook, but none of them are quite as versatile as Chris. Yes he draws really bad ass portraits. His subject matter ranges from beautiful women to old men with faces that tell a thousand tales. He even drew not one, but TWO portraits of little old me!
I love these drawings, as they are of a much younger me.
Everytime I look at them I am reminded of how young, dumb and just flat out crazy I used to be. The photographer who shot the original photographs is not any old photographer, but also a close personal friend. His name is Lew Dennison. He is actually the one who put a camera in my hand that very first time. You can see his work at
I will write a blog all about my adventures with Lew and how, thanks to him I became a photographer, but he will get a posting all onto himself.
I hope to get my hands on a physical copy of one the drawings Chris did of me, as I know he is going to be HUGE one day and I want to be able to say not only did I know this amazingly talented artist, I have a drawing he did of ME hanging on my wall <3
The real kicker of Chris’s talent is he does more than just graphite drawings. He is known for mastering many different styles and mediums. He is a portrait artist, illustrator, sculpture and I have known of him doing some phenomenal paintings.
I once asked Chris “What don’t you do?” and he responded “Not Much.”
You can see more art by Chris Hargrove by clicking the link or photo below
He sells signed original prints, can be hired for commission and I believe he is getting ready to jump into the realm of putting out some limited editions
Being the art collector that I am, all I know is that I better get my hands on some of his work sooner, rather than later. I see Chris doing big things and I’d like to grab some of his talent while I can still afford it ;)
Until Next Time.....