Sheboygan Visual Artists

Marie Hetzel

Harold: You sure have a way with people.
Maude: Well, they’re my species!
(from the 1971 film “Harold & Maude”)

Exactly. I love people. And I love looking into their faces and seeing the smile behind their eyes, and gazing at all the little wrinkles and freckles and imperfections that make them delightful. 

As a teen, I often rode the city bus. This afforded me the opportunity to study faces and expressions – especially those of the elderly. My motivation to draw people comes from the notion that – simply by virtue of being human – each of us is beautiful. I think this is especially true of elderly people; you’ll see many of their faces in my work.

The portraits you see here were drawn with Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils on Stonehenge paper. My process involves layering many thin, transparent “dry washes” on top of each other to produce a deep, textured tone. Most areas in my drawings have as many as 30 layers of color. I often use a burnishing tool to soften and blend the pigment.

I started experimenting with this technique just a year ago, so if you’re observant you’ll be able to see my learning curve. As my understanding of the process evolved, the drawings became more life-like. 

Marie Hetzel
BA Fine Art
Lakeland College

Chloe Hannah Jane Harrises Caitlyn Sanskrit Woman Harold Ashley Helen Winston Frank