Meet Shelly!

Shelly the one and the only! Shelly is our favorite daughter. Actually she is our only daughter so there’s no competition :D.

I had this shot for a while. I took it on September 19th on the Chicago River boat ride with David. Remember David? But I was sitting on it for all this time because I have never done hair this complex and was afraid to start it. Now that I am beginning the last quarter of my project I thought – it is time. Time to at least try it – then I will know if I can do it or not. At the very least I would learn something.

It was damned complex big time even though I simplified it somewhat. But I didn’t want to simplify too much because it would’ve lost the wild unruliness of wind-blown curls. I wanted to preserve that, the image is very much in character.

#30 of 40. Graphite, Moleskine Cahier sketchbook

Share this:


  1. Reply
    Tom November 15, 2010


    My oh my is Shelly ever grown up. I fondly remember the tickle fights I use to have with her in the office…

    Oh and a great sketch, you captured the motion very very well.


    • Reply
      Alex Zonis November 15, 2010

      Thanks for the comment, Tom! Where did the ten years go?… I remember that “Bring your daughters to work” day. I almost got a ticket on Willow road because we were late and I ran the red. Henry turned the lights in the server room for her, so she could watch green lights blinking on the servers. Great fun! Now she is working towards her Psychology degree and can legally go to bars.

  2. Reply
    Shelly November 15, 2010

    awwww this picture is so epic. its a hundred times better than the photograph. i love you mama. haha i remember the tickle fights too 🙂

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis November 15, 2010

      I love you too, baby-girl! I am soooooo happy you liked the portrait!

    • Reply
      Tom November 18, 2010

      I’m honored your remember them Shelly. I don’t know how I have not managed to see you all these years. I still have a picture of last time I saw you in 2000. Now you are all grown up! I am glad that you are enjoying life and working towards some awesome goals. I look forward to seeing you when I am back in Chicago!

  3. Reply
    eldy November 15, 2010

    Hi Alex , I am thoroughly enjoying your blog and always look forward to new posts. The sketchbook project is wonderful to watch grow. Your work on those wild curls is excellent…kudos!!

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis November 15, 2010

      Nice to meet you, Eldy! Thank you for stopping by. I went to your blog immediately and thoroughly enjoyed your photos and drawings. You are so good with fur! I am yet to learn to do that. Thank you so much for watching my Sketchbook Project, glad you liked how the curls turned out.

  4. Reply
    lesliepaints November 15, 2010

    Made me think of the musical “Hair” immediately ! You must have patience abounding. Awesome, Alex. Glad to meet you, Shelly!

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis November 15, 2010

      Thank you, Leslie! I didn’t see that musical, must look for it on DVD. It turned out that this hair wasn’t as much about patience as about wrapping my brain around the complexity of interweaving locks. It was like a puzzle: what goes under, what goes over, what is convex and sun-lit, what is concave and in a shadow. And then I had to remember what I meant to do in various places when I did the second and third passes for details. Whew!

      • Reply
        lesliepaints November 16, 2010

        It was just all that hair being flung around and it made me think of the opening song and the dancing and such…….

  5. Reply
    Shelly November 15, 2010

    mama, dont watch hair, you’ll cry so hard you’ll never recover. but its still the best movie ever.

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis November 16, 2010

      Oh, is it one of these totally great, but heart wrenching ones? Yea, I probably should stay away, can’t handle them.

  6. Reply
    Carol King November 16, 2010

    OK….it is not fair that someone can have hair like that! It’s beautiful and magnificent and so is your drawing of it. It’s also not fair that someone with great hair is also so thin. I bet she’s beautiful too.


    (Hi Shelly, I think your mom’s portrait of you is fabulous and so is your mom!)

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis November 17, 2010

      LOL! Too funny, Carol! But true! Yes, she is also beautiful, she looks a lot like Venus in Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. How more unfair it can get? Oh, I know – she is also 21! One day I will have to do a portrait showing more of the face.

  7. Reply
    Casey November 17, 2010

    Alex, your portait skills are amazing!

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis November 17, 2010

      You are too kind, Casey! There is always room for improvement, as you know. I use this project to learn portraiture and to get better.

  8. Reply
    lindahalcombfineart November 17, 2010

    Alex, this is remarkable! I love the movement and texture and perspective and everything about it! I am blown away.

    • Reply
      Alex Zonis November 17, 2010

      Aw, thank you so much, Linda! Of course, it helps to have a remarkable model like Shelly here. She does half the work for me being as beautiful as she is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Network Widget by Acurax Small Business Website Designers