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Chief LUX

We took "The Protector," to a local framing shop in Limpertsberg, Luxembourg called Creation Plus. The owner is a big supporter of local craftsmanship and a true art enthusiast. After a fun conversation over a shared passion for creativity, he offered me the opportunity to hang my work up in his shop! This just so happened to be 4 days before I was leaving Luxembourg to fly back home to California for the summer. Since "The Protector" already had a home, I needed to draw something new, and fast. It was time to get to work.

I allowed myself a big night of sleep to prepare for the Sprint de Charcoal that laid ahead of me. I threw on some Rising Appalachia🎧 , got into a mediative state and laid the mind to rest to let the creativity come through. That next morning, I woke up with the clearest head. I knew immediately that I wanted to draw a Chief of a Native American tribe.

Inspiration: The owner of Creation Plus mentioned that he felt "The Protector" had a sense of stoic strength about him. Since the main goal of my portraits is to capture and honor the strength of the character, this comment meant a lot to me.

I like to think that these characters hold endless amounts of knowledge, supplied with wholesome stories of achievements. I envision them with honorable characteristics whom receive much admiration. These purposeful ideals have been the constant inspiration throughout my black and white creations.



When creating "The Chief", I envisioned a leader who had lived a long life enduring many battles. I wanted to leave a striking impression by having the eyes tell a story.

I decided to give our Chief's eyes a bit of a glazed over look, exuding wisdom in a tired, yet graceful manner. This was created through the use of bold dark shades, and pure white accents. I also had his eye lids come over the top to make the eyes appear somewhat sunk in. Wrinkles were added all around, especially in the forehead area because I thought that a life of leadership comes with contemplation and expression.

His eyebrows had actually not changed from the original rough draft. As I mapped out the face, I quickly marked the placement of his eyebrows in a rough, unfinished manner. But when I started to draw his eyes, I realized that the disheveled eyebrows worked perfectly for the type of rugged feeling that I was going for.


Out of all the details I draw, the forming of the clothes are by far the most untrustworthy process. I always think that creating fabric folds will go rather smoothly, and yet every single time, without fail, they take three times longer than I had expected.

For me, the time table on getting the 3-d look of fabrics is a bit of a lottery type of situation. Sometimes I can see the folds before they're even on the paper, and other times I end up crosseyed and confused.

Luckily, I won the lottery with this piece🙌🏽

Shading has almost everything to do with bringing a picture to life in a multi dimensional manner.

When it comes to shading, it is

important to figure out where the light is coming from. Once that is decided, the next step is to simply follow a template of highlights and shadows. The high points (the top of the collar and shoulder straps) are highlighted, while the sunken- in points, (the bottom of the scarf folds or beneath the shoulder straps) are hidden in shadow.


The feathers may have been the most therapeutic part of the drawing. I simply brushed a light layer of charcoal in the direction of the feathers, and used a kleenex to soften out the strokes. From there, I used mainly an eraser to capture the flow-y effect of each feather.

While the conventional way is to go darker as you get further into the drawing, I like to go both into the positive and negatives of my depictions. Drawing with an eraser is just as powerful as drawing with a pencil.


Time Lapse:

The "Chief" went through a couple different looks before landing its intended style. The hair started in a much different style. The more I looked at it, the more I realized that I wanted to draw braids as I had learned that it is a way to respect the aspect of cultural identity.


Dowd Creatives Signature:

As part of my signature, I include coordinates of the location in which that specific piece was created in.

The idea came as I was traveling so much and had painted and drawn in multiple parts of the world. I wanted this nomad component to be a part of the piece's story. As "The Chief" was created in Luxembourg, its respective coordinates act as a footprint in its creation.

*Custom pieces are available upon request*

Customized handcrafted frames and glass covers are also available upon request for additional purchase. Please visit the Contact page to reach out for inquiries.

You can find "The Chief" on display and available for purchase at: Creation Plus- Art and Framing

74, rue Ermesinde (corner avenue Victor Hugo) | L-1469 LUXEMBOURG | Phone: +352 22 63 33


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