Pencil Portraits--True to Life Original Art

Born in 1934 in those wonderful post-depression years, I began dabbling in art at an early age. Artistically I was totally unschooled, but developed a talent with the pencil simply because that’s all I had. My training in San Francisco came from those unique rooftops where I learned perspective through observation. Raised in the Mission District, I “worked at” the usual jobs all youngsters did in that part of town…newspaper routes, the Examiner in the morning before school, the Chronicle after school. Quitting those efforts, I spent some years as a butcher boy in the neighborhood butcher shop.
Seeing that I was a normal male teenage boy and running a bit wild, my dear sister landed me a job at a local lithographic advertising shop, where I spent countless hours as a “printer’s devil”. Subsequently, I developed a love for graphic arts in all its various forms. While still in school, I purchased a tenor sax and taught myself to play, mostly by ear, so that when I joined the army at age 17 during the Korean Conflict, I played well enough to qualify for the 82nd Airborne Division Band. After discharge in 1955, I went back to printing as an apprentice pressman. Ten years passed and I realized that I had traveled the country playing tenor sax in too many third-rate gigs and holding down a variety of printing jobs from back door to front. I ended up in a partnership with a young lady, who later became my wife, in an advertising agency. There my passion for drawing bloomed. I’ve tried oils and pastels, but always come back to graphite where I began.
It has always been a source of genuine pleasure for me to create an image that will be cherished. My attention to detail has landed many commissions, mostly by word of mouth. I was recently commissioned for a portrait of a gentleman who had passed away, and was asked to include a rendering of the man as a lad. When the client presented it to her mother-in-law and her husband, my client told me later that it was quite an emotional moment. No better compliment can be paid an artist.



Phone: 717-677-6285     E-mail: Pencil Portraits

©2012 Joe Olivares     PO Box 68, Arendtsville, PA 17303 USA