I was born in March 1958, grew up and went to school in a village called Brünlos. This small village is a part of highland called Erzgebirge in the Southeast-Germany.
Even as a child, I enjoyed it to express my imagination by painting. Although I never received good grades in the art lessons, my interest in drawing remained not only, it increased. I improved myself with every painting.
As I became a teenager, of course I started to have a crush on "stars" too. The only difference between me and other kids in my age was, that I drew the posters of my "stars" at my own.
1974, I began a teacher-education.
1978, I graduated as a teacher for elementary education. It was (and is) my dream profession.
During my studies I found out also my favorite motives for painting, mainly kids. In this time I created my first portraits of children. For the next 23 years children stayed my favorite subject, especially during the years of service as teacher in Germany and abroad.
In Lebanon I spent my best time in my life and in my job as teacher. I was there from 1993 to 2001. During these years I painted many children, of course especially my pupils.
After my stay in Lebanon, I started to paint also for other people. Of course it was not possible anymore to confine myself to draw only portraits of kids. From that time I painted also a lot of portraits of babies, animals, adults and stars. The result of my work during all these years are about 400 children from 40 different countries that I immortalized on paper.
Since January 2009 I started to work as a self-employed painter and I devote myself to the wishes of my clients.
Some of my thoughts about portrait-painting:
A photo is worth a thousand words but a realistic portrait drawing tells a story that is worth considerably more, it's an heirloom.
A portrait is a solid and simplified construction representing an expression, a state of soul, a condition, a feeling, more than a mere combination of two eyes, two ears, a nose and a mouth.
A portrait is a living assembly of play, of forms, of proportions, without falling into mere caricature, or being a dead photograph with life or human meaning. The lifeless imitation of forms is far removed from true portraiture. A portrait is above all an act of love, for the artist ought to "dissect", analyze, and see into every detail of grimace, gesture or sign to make of them a living synthesis.
Most of my portraits are based on photos, they were sent to me by my clients. Now I prefer to make photos myself. All of my portraits are drawn very precise with each detail and each single hair. For each portrait I need -because of my love to the smallest detail- between 8 to 10 hours. I developed my own techniques and tricks during the last 34 years. Time just ceases to be when I draw and each portrait is a labor of love that I thoroughly enjoy. Absolutely nothing is quite so rewarding to me as stretching the 3-dimensional image of a child or other motive onto the 2-dimensional surface of a high quality sheet of paper. One of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of my life is to be able to give joy to others by creating the likeness of a loved one or beloved kid.
I often get asked if I ever have attended any art courses. The answer is NO. I am a real autodidact, but it is process of learning without end, training with patience and love. And I believe the ability to draw pencil portraits is a very special gift to me.
My first self-created Homepage (http://andreas-grunert.npage.de) is online since March 2009. I use it to show my paintings, to introduce myself and my ideas and my convictions.
I enjoy sharing the beauty of my pencil-kids with everyone.