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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nathema has been one of my favorite bands for the last several years. I saw them live for the first time in 2015 at ProgPower USA XVI, one electric set and one acoustic, both wonderful experiences that motivated me to try my hand at drawing from a live photo. I’ve been drawing people for my whole life, but mechanical objects were – and still are – out of my comfort zone, and it shows, but it turned out surprisingly well and still captured the intensity of a live performance.

While I was riding high on inspiration, I did portraits of the three Cavanagh brothers, who all have riotous curls, which was a great opportunity to work on my skills with hair (and hands and clothing, especially the fine details). Since I had already drawn half the band, I decided I might as well go ahead with the rest. Lee was surprisingly difficult: I thought nothing could phase me after drawing all those curls, but it turns out that fine, wispy, tousled blonde hair is also a challenge. Cardoso and John were a cinch by comparison. I tried to use photos that had visual interest, but good quality, high res photos of anyone besides Vincent and Danny – where they’re not blocked by objects or other people – were hard to come by.

The whole project was a great deal of fun, and I can see how my skills have improved through each one… to the point that I’m tempted to fix the earliest drawings!

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