Blind Contour Artist Ian Sklarsky

Ian Sklarsky is a Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based artist who’s been creating amazing abstract portraits – over 700 in the past five years alone – illustrating everything from people to pets using only pen, ink, and a splash of water colour.

The 30-year-old became engrossed in the traditional blind contour method of drawing when he learned about it in a high school art class – the artist must trace the outline of the subject in one line, without looking at the paper or canvas, creating a very expressive and abstract result. Sklarsky has to put himself in the right mindset to allow his hand to guide him across the page, keeping absolutely zen throughout the process – which can sometimes be no easy feat, as when he works on large format portraits, such as group illustrations that tower over six feet high.

Sklarsky’s portraits often begin around $65 and go up from there, depending on the size and complexity as well as the time to complete each one. They are all signed and sealed with wax, and he also offers an epoxy glaze option to those who want it, which tends to cause the paper to become somewhat translucent so you can back-light it for emphasis in your decor.

To see more, obtain a commissioned piece, and find out when and where he is appearing next, check out Sklarsky’s website. He is also on Tumblr, so be sure to visit often to see the progress of his work. Cool Hunting also recently posted a video of Sklarsky working on one of his portraits – you can view it here.

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